City workers look to donate sick time to colleague battling canc - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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City workers look to donate sick time to colleague battling cancer

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City workers want to donate sick time to a colleague who is battling cancer (WFSB) City workers want to donate sick time to a colleague who is battling cancer (WFSB)
NORWICH, CT (WFSB) -

In the Rose City, municipal employees want to aid a co-worker battling cancer by donating their accrued sick time. 

However, the Norwich city manager has denied the request.

There is no written policy, but the city manager said the request is decided on a case by case basis. 

In this case, it comes at a time when the union is in contract negotiations and asked to include the request as part of the talks.

Unionized members of the Norwich Public Works Department have united over the past five weeks to help their colleague fight cancer. 

They've gone to city hall asking for permission to donate their accrued sick time so an unidentified city employee can make ends meet during his struggle.

"It would actually be helpful to him to be getting his full pay,” said David Siswick, United Public Service Employees Union president.

While Siswick acknowledges the request is part of the current union contract talks, he said the city has allowed the "banked time" to be donated in the past.

"We were just given a flat out no. With no further explanation after that,” Siswick said.

City Manager John Salamone said “it’s a personnel matter. It’s decided on a case by case basis.”

This policy varies from city to city and company to company. 

In New London, the city firefighters have been able to donate their vacation time to a colleague in need.

City employees in New London are able to donate "days" banked to other city workers who are "in-need" for health reasons.

Many taxpayers in Norwich are surprised by the rejected request.

"A lot of companies do that so, why not,” said Terri Slater, of Norwich.

"At my job, we have work time we can give so many hours to. It’s called a sick-bank, and they can take out of that sick bank,” said Ruth DelaCruz, of Montville.

“The reality of this is that this time is earned by our employees and they choose to donate it there is no financial loss to the city,” Siswick said.

Some 40 people are employed in public works. City hall has not confirmed or denied if the banked sick time is part of the ongoing union talks.

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