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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Because that's where the money is

Two interesting -- and some might say politically tinged -- looks at the dollar drain from state government in today's Boston papers.

The Herald's payroll crusade looks at cashed out vacation time and singles out former Deval Patrick chief of staff Doug Rubin, who cashed out $11,000 in unused vacation pay. I know Rubin stops by here occasionally so I'd be happy for a comment.

On the other side of the political aisle, the Globe looks at the pension policies of Bristol County Sheriff John Hodgson, "a tough-talking Republican renowned for trying to charge inmates for room and board" and the generous pensions he is doling out. Those include a number of "Group 4" lifetime prizes which are only supposed to go to folks with hazardous jobs in the correctional system -- not administrators.

State government certainly appears to be a much more lucrative field for pensions and benefits than when I toiled in the vineyards. I know the retirement benefit policies appear to be better than the private sector, but how do the vacation cash out rules compare?

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Anonymous Doug Rubin said...

Thanks for the opportunity to respond. These are the facts: I worked as the Governor's Chief of Staff for a little over two years. The job demands a lot of time and attention, as it should to do the work needed on behalf of the people of the Commonwealth. When I left, I had a little over 4 weeks of unused vacation time.

I am proud of the work that I did for the Commonwealth, and I am disappointed that work has somehow been called into question by this story. I went to work every day trying to do the best I could in that job.

March 09, 2010 6:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in the private sector. Our policy is vacation time must be used in the calendar year. No rollovers, use it or lose it. No accumulating liabilities for the company. Guess what, people go on vacation and things get done. No one is as invaluable as they think they are.

March 09, 2010 9:12 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Is the vacation cash-out policy really that much different from most of the dreaded private sector? This seems to be a very weak criticism of state government- it stands to reason that you should get compensated for unused vacation time when you quit a job. When I quit my job at City Hall I collected about two grand in unused vacation, but nobody wrote an article about it. A pretty low blow, in my opinion, that deserves to get even less attention than Scott Brown's "per diems"- remember that?

March 09, 2010 9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Group 4 abuse is widespread...my guess is this is one of the ways "they" will take Guy Glodis out of the Auditors race

March 09, 2010 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anon:

It is against the law to deny vacation payouts for unused days and even lose it or use policies must account for people not being able to get time off to take all vacation days. Blue Mass Group has the summary of the laws. Your company may be violating state law depending on how its policy is implemented.

March 09, 2010 3:08 PM  

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