Some state employees said they deserved double pay for the days following Tropical Storm Irene, but Tuesday the Vermont Labor Relations Board rejected those claims.
Hundreds of workers were forced to scatter to office buildings across the state after the Waterbury complex flooded. A few dozen workers said they deserved that double pay because of language in their contracts about emergency closures of offices.
But the Labor Board says it doesn't think that clause was meant to apply to the Waterbury situation. And that the only emergency closure day was the Monday following the Sunday storm.
"For the governor it was a fundamental matter of fairness. That many hundreds of thousands of state employees were doing heroic work in trying conditions and they all ought to be treated the same," Vt. Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding said.
Spaulding says the administration will work to more clearly define emergency leave when the next round of collective bargaining begins. Had the Labor Board ruled in the employees' favor, Spaulding says he thinks many more employees would have filed for the double pay and that could have cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions.
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