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Dispatchers to be paid for lost vacation

May 05, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The City of Hagerstown intends to compensate a handful of city dispatchers who will lose vacation time when they become Washington County employees on July 1.

During Tuesday's City Council work session, Police Chief Arthur Smith recommended that the city pay the dispatchers for vacation time they would have earned as city employees but will lose when they involuntarily are transferred to help operate the county's new 911 center.

The center should be operational in September, Washington County Public Works Director Joseph Kroboth has said.

Smith said 11 city dispatchers will be transferred.

According to city documents, dispatchers who "currently get three weeks (of vacation) and will only receive two at the county would receive payment for the difference until they have sufficient tenure to receive three weeks at the county."

Smith said sufficient tenure could take up to three years to obtain.

He suggested that dispatchers who receive five weeks of vacation with the city but who receive four weeks of vacation with the county should be paid for five weeks of vacation upon separation.

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The compensation would cost the city about $15,000, Smith said.

Smith also recommended that the dispatchers who retire with 15 or more years of service should continue to receive limited medical insurance after the age of 65. That benefit, which the city offers, is not offered by Washington County, he said.

City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said the transfers will save the city about $375,000.

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