Boyce floats idea of same amount of vacation time for all county staff

Chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, Michael Boyce in article about cobb budget town halls (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)Chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, Michael Boyce (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

At the Cobb County board of commissioners work session on Wednesday, county commission chairman Michael Boyce floated the idea of  leveling the number of days of vacation time for all full-time staff, regardless of seniority. He said,

“Why is it that we think that someone who is a manual laborer, that just gets hired into a position needs less vacation time than somebody that’s been in 10 years?  What’s the relationship there?  You’re doing a job that you’re going to be doing the same job in 10 that you’re doing now, and yet we’re saying that you need less rest than you do ten years down the road.  Why don’t we just have a blanket vacation time period for everybody?  Does it cost us anything to give everybody fifteen days of vacation.”

Commissioner Bob Ott said the county would need more employees under such a plan.

Boyce said,

“It might be, but it also approaches it that we’re all in this together.  We understand that the county is looking [out for] your best interest.  And we’re going to take a chance on you … we’re going to give everybody the same amount of vacation time, whether you work one year, or thirty years, and you’re all going to find a way to make this work among yourselves”

“As you know, I was in the military.  A private first-class got the same amount of vacation time every year that a general did, 30 days.  And we made it work… It took the military 220 years to recognize paternity leave.  But they do that now. We finally realize … quality time with your family enhances your job performance.  We trust you to figure out a way to make this work, and you will not let your fellow workers down.  So I’m not saying unlimited sick leave, although I’d like to go to that … but everybody needs rest time with your families.  It makes you a better person, and a better worker.”

When Boyce mentioned 15 days as a possible number, Ott said “senior employees just gasped”.  Boyce said that senior employees were leaders, and that leaders “are there to take care of their troops.”