The Department of Correction agreed last year to restore nearly three years of expired time off for 40 parole officers, an average of 3.5 weeks each.
In 2011, auditors discovered an accounting glitch that allowed a small group of state employees to build up thousands of hours of extra time off. At least 40 parole officers kept compensatory time that should have expired.
The department fixed the error and time off started expiring for the parole officers. Their union negotiated the 2013 agreement to restore 5,800 of properly expired leave.
According to a list attached to the agreement, the Department of Correction reinstated time off ranging from half an hour for one parole officer to 688 hours – more than 17 weeks – for another.
In all, Connecticut owes its employees about $676 million for paid time off, down slightly from fiscal year 2012 when the value exceeded $700 million.
DOC had the parole officers in the wrong category. After auditors found the problem, DOC put the employees into the correct leave plan and opened negotiations with the union to determine how to handle the improperly-earned time off.
The department signed a March 2013 agreement with AFSCME Council 4 to resolve the issue by reinstating time off that expired between October 2012 and January 2013, which amounted to 147 weeks or nearly three years. The parole officers have three years to use the time off granted under the agreement.
DOC spokeswoman Karen Martucci said the agreement with the union set out to “address a discrepancy identified through an audit of the agency’s financial records.”
“Specifically, parole officers were entered into the payroll computer system coded into an incorrect leave plan, which wasn’t consistent with the compensatory time expiration language applicable to that job classification,” Martucci said. “The DOC and the union were in agreement to meet and discuss a fair resolution to the issue, which ultimately resulted in this signed contract.”