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   (a)   In lieu of a portion of the maximum severance pay allowed in Section 260.03, full-time, non-bargaining unit employees with either a total of twenty-six years of PERS-accepted credit time, or who are eligible for PERS pension on the date of their proposed retirement, may request to convert their current awarded sick leave hours to paid wages.
   (b)   Sick leave shall be limited to a maximum annual accumulation of 120 hours of sick leave per year.
   (c)   Any sick leave utilized during this program will be deducted from the employee's past bank of accumulated hours, if applicable on a first-in-first-out (FIFO) basis.
   (d)   The payment for the accumulated hours shall be made on the last pay of December, except that the final payment shall be made at the time of retirement.
   (e)   The hourly rate used to calculate the amount of the payment shall be 100 percent of the employee's prevailing rate of pay at the time of the payment, with twenty-two percent deducted for employee and employer shares of pension contributions.  All sick leave hours converted to payment shall be deducted from the maximum allowed under Section 260.03.
   (f)   By submitting the request to participate in this sick leave buyout plan, the employee acknowledges that his or her final sick leave balance, upon retirement for severance calculation pursuant to Section 260.03, will be reduced by the amount paid (maximum of 120 hours annually).  At no point shall the payment received exceed the maximum number of sick days allowed to be paid out upon retirement pursuant to Section 260.03 in order to insure no additional costs to the City.  If the employee fails to execute retirement or withdraws from the program, he or she:
      (1)   Must repay any amounts received under the program in order to re-enroll; or
      (2)   Will only be eligible for future severance payments to the maximum allowed, less any time previously paid under this plan.
   (g)   The employee must submit a request in writing to the department head, with a copy to the Finance Director, asking for enrollment in this plan.  A copy of the employee's most recent PERS service credit statement must be attached to the request.
      (1)   Within ninety days, the Finance Director will notify the employee of his or her correct sick leave balance, and the number of hours to be paid at the last pay of December.
      (2)   The employee then has thirty days within which to dispute any balance in question.
   (h)   The arrangement is not a guarantee of employment, and the City reserves the right to terminate this plan at the end of any given calendar year.
(Ord. 69-98.  Passed 4-27-98; Ord. 167-00.  Passed 7-10-00; Ord. 93-01.  Passed 6-11-01.)