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Mass. Pays Out $225 Million For Unused Sick Time

BOSTON (CBS) – Last year Massachusetts paid out $225 million to state workers for unused sick time.

It’s a perk that’s generally not allowed in the private sector.

Can the state afford to do this?

Kyle Alspach of the Boston Business Journal reports.


One Comment

  1. Richard Dauphinais says:

    This Is our state for you. This is a big reason to get roid of unions. They were good back in the day. But are not needed now. Tall about free money.

  2. StanleyRamon says:

    Getting rid of unions is extreme. Getting rid of paid sick time seems reasonable. In my business, you work, you get paid. You don’t work, you don’t get paid.

  3. atragon says:

    These things are negotiated in contracts. The state agreed to it; the union gave up something else. Thats why it is called bargaining. It appears bad taken out of context, but the whole picture needs to be considered.

  4. Winsor Smith says:

    As a city worker in Massachusetts, I enjoy the benefit of a sick time buyback, mine being a little different from how it was explained in the news article. It is a benefit I look forward to when I retire (wouldn’t you?). An interesting angle is to think of it this way: if I take sick time (which I’ve never been in the habit of doing) I’m a bad guy for sick time abuse, but seeing that I don’t, I’ll be a bad guy when I retire and get a bunch of money. Don’t forget, this policy has developed over the years in response to sick time abuse which needs a better solution than the buyback. On the other hand, I know that some private sector jobs at least used to have an annual number of sick days allowed on the “use them or lose them” basis, which encourages sick time usage at the end of the year, which cuts into productivity. Perhaps the answer is something of a annual buyback of some percentage of an employee’s sick time…

  5. jeffsmom says:

    okay i do work for the state and currently have over 600 hours of sick time available. so what am i supposed to do?? call out sick one day a week? i know many who do because of this policy.
    i also know many people who work in “the outside world” that get paid once a year for unused sick time. i think WBZ should investigate all companies before they throw stones at state employees.
    but in response to some other comments it is ALL in the union contracts and believe me those people do give up A LOT to get this so-called perk-

  6. massman says:

    Great article. I never would have known that. My wife is a public teacher that isn’t allowed to collect on unused sick days. I worked for a company for many years, and collected on unused sick time. I guess anything to stir up the anti- public worker nest. Obviously, this is an issue that can be addressed. I just find it strange that BZ decided not to report on the other article written by Mr. Alspach in the BBJ. The one entitled, GE’s Passion For Avoiding Taxes. I guess it’s more important to report on th greedy public sector.

  7. the Good the Bad and the missed out says:

    I see the good and the bad in this. The good is the people who rarely take sick times and just work through the pain you deserve this. The bad side is those who are continuously banging uot of work because they just “can” do not derver a dime.

  8. Tell the whole story says:

    Why don’t you tell the reason for this or the benefits? If someone earning $50K per year retires with 40 years of service and one year’s worth of sick time he will get a 20% buyout of $10K. That amounts to $250 per year of services. For 260 business days he earns $192 per day. If he calls in sick and someone at the same rate works overtime it will cost $288. Discouraging an employee from using only one sick day per year will make the buyout cost effective.

    Will you report this part of the story? If you have any integrity in reporting – YES. If you are only concerned with making people mad and boosting ratings – NO. Which will you choose?

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