Contract/
Agreement
Maximum
Accumulation
Comp Time
Maximum
Payout
Comp Time
Comments
AFSCME240 hours240 hoursCity can pay out some or all comp at any time
FOP146 hours130 hours
IAFF205 hours205 hours
Chp 3/Mgt.60 days60 daysEmployee can request a 1-time buyout prior to retirement

Yes, that’s correct: on Planet CityofDeKalb, some employees get to accumulate comp time for years and years.

And, yes: for management employees, the maximum payout is 60 DAYS.

For management employees, then, the maximum payout number of days of compensated leave is 182:

60 days of comp time
90 days of sick leave
32 days of vacation

A hypothetical city employee who works a 37.5 hour week, whose base salary comes to $35 per hour by the time of retirement and who has accumulated, say, 120 days of paid leave would be paid an additional $31,440 upon separation. If the employee was eligible for last year’s separation incentive and took it, add $10,000 to $20,000 to the total.

Even without separation incentives, it’s still an excellent deal. That person may have started accumulating leave while making $20 or $25 per hour, but it’s paid out at the current rate of pay after a double-digit Step 2 raise in the second year and 2-3% or more annually thereafter — yes, even during most of the recession. Then, the retiree enjoys a bump in pension due to this final, generous payout.

It’s unsustainable and has been for quite some time. Did you know that DeKalb is still paying for the Early Retirement Incentive it offered in FY2004?*

So the next time you read a story about how the City of DeKalb has fixed all of its financial issues — especially if the article has dubious timing a) during contract negotiations, b) before the FY2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is released and c) even before the FY2012 first quarter report — call b.s. before you turn the page.

*See #12, p. 55 of this report