Today nj.com is featuring an NJ Spotlight article on NJ municipalities and school districts owing almost $2 billion in unused sick and vacation pay.
Plaintalker pointed out Plainfield's situation regarding Compensated Absence Liability in 2008 ("The Big I.O.U"). The past administration was not putting away anything toward the cost of payouts, but this one has been doing so. Last year, $150,000 was allotted for accumulated absence and $67,300 was paid. This year, the administration wants $75,000 set aside.
As of 2010, new employees can only receive a maximum of $15,000 in unused sick or vacation pay. For a municipality with a mature workforce at the top of the pay scale, a bunch of retirements can cost a bundle in payouts. By contrast, some towns don't allow carryover of sick and vacation pay and so have no problem.
I could not find a page in the 2017 Municipal Data Sheet that showed Plainfield's total liability. In past data sheets, it was spelled out by categories and stated both the number of days and the amount owed. Update: Finance Director Ron West says the amount is in the User Friendly Budget and it is $3,882,593.35.
I was surprised to see this article, because the topic might be considered a bit arcane. Perhaps there is a new interest in how public money is spent, or maybe a wish for even greater reform.