Starland council aligns gift policies for retirees and long-term employees

Written by ECA Review

Starland County council started their review of Policies 130-4, 130-5 and 130-14 during their Aug. 23 regular council meeting.

Council determined that Policy 130-5 was no longer needed as it worked in tandem with Policy 130-4, explained Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Christopher Robblee.

Policy 130-4 Employee Departure Appreciation Gift is for all employees who have worked for Starland County with a minimum of 10 years of continuous employment. Whereas Policy 130-5 Long Service Retirement Gift was for all employees over 55 years old who have worked for Starland County for a minimum of 20 years.

Instead of keeping both policies, council is working on removing Policy 130-5 as it overlaps with Policy 130-4.

If a staff member retires after working for 10 years, they can still receive a retirement appreciation gift.

Council decided that they wanted to cap the gift at $500.

Policy 130-14 Employee Service Recognition Policy has also been capped at $500. The policy is in place to recognize employees’ efforts at Starland County.

In the current policy, after 30 years of service, an employee would be eligible for a $600 gift.

“And then it mentions here about how these things are paid for specifically that they’re paid for from the dividends from Sunlife,” said Robblee. “What we’ve been doing is rolling over the dividends every couple of years from Sunlife into your general revenue and just paying for these gifts out of general operations.”

After discussing the options of doing cash gifts, where staff need to submit a receipt after purchase, they have decided to start using a company again.

Judy Fazekas, Legislative Services Director, explained that it is better to use a company where they are given options of gifts that can then be shipped to them, as in the past, people have been taking advantage of the policy and using it to pay for their taxes.

Administration will continue to work on the policies and bring them back to council for further discussion.

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