Extension for NPD employees to use vacation days
NASHUA – Legislation allowing 58 union employees with the Nashua Police Department to have an extended amount of time to take their vacation days was passed by members of the Board of Aldermen this week just as time was running out.
Deputy Chief James Testaverde joined members of the board Tuesday and explained that the current contracts for these unions allow employees to carry over five vacation days into the next year up until May 1. They belong to the Nashua Police Patrolman’s Association and the Nashua Police Supervisor’s Association.
“Once you hit May 1 it either goes into your bank for retirement or you forfeit the days,” Testaverde said. “We currently have 58 employees in these two unions that have anywhere from one to five days that they’re not using purposely because of the pandemic and we greatly appreciate the fact that they’re not just sitting home burning the days when we need them to come to work.”
The department does not want them to be able to carry the vacation time indefinitely, so an expiration date of Oct. 1 was set. The BOA voted 14-1 for the measure.
Alderman Richard Dowd said he has been working with the chief and deputy chief on getting this legislation passed this week. Dowd explained that it was determined that it had to come before the board for resolution since it has some cost impact. According to the fiscal note in the resolution, “Financial Services estimates that the cost of these proposed sidebars is less than $1,000.”
Alderwoman Elizabeth Lu voted against this legislation. Lu said her understanding is that crime is down in Nashua that she has not heard that COVID-19 has affected the department.
“I just know that vacation time is something that a lot of the public is being required to take right now,” Lu said.
Lu questions why it is unfair to ask these employees to follow the contract as written. Lu said there should be a compromise of some type. Additionally, Lu said she does not know why the police department waited until days before the deadline.
“First of all when the pandemic hit, everyone in the city, as you very well know, kind of went into high gear and as the mayor stated before, this is still a seven-day-a week-process,” Testaverde said.
“For that reason, one of the very last, maybe number 97 on our list of things to do, was to go through the contract to see what items might be affected by the
About one month ago, Testaverde said he was approached by some of the union members and told a number of people were going to lose their vacation days. He he was asked if they should start taking these days.
Testaverde said he met with Chief Michael Carignan and decided they didn’t anyone to start taking those days.
Testaverde said officers are now taking a day here and a day there.
The department does not want a rush of officers blocking off vacation weeks and that the limit for simultaneous vacations is four people per shift are off. All 58 employees should make sure their time is scheduled so that no more than four people are out per shift.
“I know there’s nowhere for them to go, but I don’t want them to just sit at home just for the sake of burning the time,” Testaverde said with two currently
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