Snead passes new employee bereavement policy

After several weeks of discussion and consideration, the Snead Town Council amended its employee bereavement policy. The change raises the number of days for bereavement and distinguishes between employees who work 8-hour shifts and those who work 12- hour shifts. It also clarifies that the distinction applies only to bereavement not any other type of leave, such as vacation.

The major provision reads: Three work days (hours of pay determined by hours employee is normally scheduled to work) will be allowed for the deaths of immediate family members this includes: parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, grandparents-in-law, children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, and sisters-in-law. This will be leave with pay.

The clarification itself requested previously reads: “In the Personnel Policy/Manual of the Town of Snead that all time herein referred to as ‘day(s)’ will equal eight (8) hours for each day; with the exception of Bereavement Leave.” The changes follow concerns originally expressed by police chief Phillip Weaver, whose department employees serve 12-hour shifts while other town employees have 8- hour shifts.

Discussions over several meetings lead to an increase in bereavement leave from two days to three. In discussion, council members agreed that the 12-hour exception would only apply to bereavement leave and no other.

Councilman Dale Snead, who spearheaded the changes, missed the Dec. 9 approving session. Snead, an electric power company employee, was doing storm recovery work in Texas. Councilman Jack Freeman voted against the change and Mayor Curtis Painter abstained.

On another employee leave matter, councilman Greg Ogles asked the council to consider changing its vacation leave requirements for utilities department employees. At the council’s last November session, supervisor Jeff Whited had explained that his employees sometimes had difficulty in taking their vacation leave during the summer because of unusual construction and expansion work. He and the council had concerns of having too few department employees in town should emergency situations arise. Painter and the council had asked Whited to attempt to work that issue out with Painter contending the leave could be resolved in the remainder of the year. When Whited indicated he felt employees were presently handling the matter, the council agreed to re-examine the vacation policy in the coming calendar year.

Recognizing the next regularly-scheduled council meeting would fall two days before Christmas, the council decided not to hold that final December meeting unless emergency conditions arise. Councilors Phillip McHan and Charles Sanders joined Painter, Freeman, and Ogles for the Dec. 9 meeting. The council’s regular meetings (changed for December) occur on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the community center.