The Lee County Board is listening to funding requests for the upcoming fiscal year from elected leaders and department heads. The requests from three departments could mean longer work-weeks for some of their employees.
County Auditor Denise Fraise, County Recorder Nancy Booten, and County Treasurer Chris Spann want their roughly 15 full-time, hourly employees to work 40 hours/week. They currently work 35 hours/week.
Fraise said the additional hours would bring them in line with fellow members of the administrative bargaining unit. She said about 15 employees working in other departments (including secondary roads and maintenance) are allowed to work 40 hours/week.
Fraise said the 35 hour work-week has been in place for decades.
“It’s a matter of fairness I think to our employees,” said Fraise. “There’s a lot of times that our offices, they have to accumulate comp time or overtime.”
Fraise estimated the additional five hours/week for the roughly 15 employees would cost the county about $70,000 next year to cover wages and benefits. She said similar requests have been rejected in recent years because of the price tag.
Fraise said the departments would maintain the same hours of operation each day. She said employees would spend the additional hour per day working before the office opens or after it closes. She hoped this will reduce the need for overtime or comp time.
The county board must finalize the county’s next budget by mid-March. The new fiscal year begins July 1, 2019.