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Leave plan languishes


A controversial plan to save Baltimore County money by changing the way county workers are paid for accident leave has still not been implemented more than a month after an agreement was announced between union leaders and County Executive Roger B. Hayden.

County personnel director Richard N. Holloway told the County Council Tuesday that he is to meet with Mr. Hayden Monday to iron out glitches in the plan and may present rule changes to implement it to the county Personnel and Salary Advisory Board at its meeting May 26.

Union leaders said they discovered after the compromise was announced March 30 that fire and police officers would lose substantial pay under the plan, which calls for hurt workers to get their normal take-home pay while on accident leave instead of the tax-free, full pay that gave them up to 120 percent of their normal take-home wages.

As an example, police union leader Lt. L. Timothy Caslin said, the formula proposed in the compromise plan would cost him more than $100 a week in lost wages if he were injured on the job. The unions protested after Mr. Hayden announced in early March a plan to have workers apply for less generous worker compensation instead of getting their tax-free accident pay, a policy administration officials said has encouraged abuses.

Fire union president Kevin O'Connor said he was satisfied that the Hayden administration is doing the right thing by delaying implementation of the policy in order to stick to Mr. Hayden's promise that the new plan would only eliminate abuses, while guaranteeing hurt county workers their normal take-home pay.

Mr. Hayden has said the reform could save the county as much as $750,000 a year.

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