In his continuing effort to keep county expenses down, Ulster County Executive Michael Hein Wednesday proposed a voluntary separation program for certain county employees as a means of reducing the size of the workforce and lowering payroll and benefits expenses.
Under the program, which would require county legislature approval, the 232 eligible workers could receive a one-time $12,500 separation payment to leave county service no later than December 1.
Health and Personnel Committee Chairman Robert Aiello, a Republican, supports the plan.
“I’d much rather see a voluntary separation agreement than layoffs,” Aiello said.
Democat Legislator Jeanette Provenzano called it “a wonderful opportunity for employees, particularly if it can avoid layoffs.”
Hein said if the typical 10 percent of the eligible workers opted for the program, the county would save about $1 million per year.
“Every level of government is facing serious fiscal challenges,” Hein said. “Now what it comes down to is finding the most cost-effective way to insure that the government operations become cost-effective. You have to be able to do it in way that you become sustainable and this will help us down that path.”
Eligible workers must be members of the CSEA or Ulster County Staff Association and be enrolled as a Tier 1, 2 or 3 member of the New York State and Local Retirement System or have an employment date before January 1, 1994.
They would have to work in any of the departments of Public Works, Social Services, Environment, Finance, Health, Information Services, Mental Health, Office for the Aging, Office of Employment and Training, Personnel, Planning, Probation, Purchasing/Central Services, Real Property, Safety, Self Insurance, Stop DWI, Area Transit, Tourism, veterans Affairs, Weights and Measures and Youth Bureau.