Newton Employee Benefits
Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance
The City of Newton is self-insured with Blue Cross NC as its third-party administrator. The City currently has a PPO co-pay plan in which the City pays the entire medical premium for all regular full-time employees. Dependent coverage is available for purchase. Prescription coverage is also provided. Individual and dependent dental and vision insurance may be purchased separately. Initial enrollment is effective the 1st day of the month following 30 consecutive days of employment. Open enrollment is during July of each year with an August 1 effective date.
To view Newton’s HIPPA Policy, click here.
IRS Section 125 allows you to pretax your premiums. This allows employees to use pre-tax dollars to purchase insurance.
The City provides and pays the premium for life insurance equal to 1 x the employee’s annual salary as reported once per fiscal year, not to exceed $100,000. Dependent life insurance may be purchased through a payroll deduction.
Short-Term Disability Insurance
Short-term disability insurance may be purchased by full-time employees through a payroll deduction. This insurance pays 60% of the employee’s weekly salary (based on the annual salary reported once per fiscal year). The disability payments begin on the 30th calendar day after the determined start date of the disability and will be payable for 26 weeks, subject to medical review by the insurance carrier. No long-term disability insurance is available.
The City provides a voluntary contribution plan for a variety of insurances offered through various vendors. Example plans would be cancer insurance, critical illness insurance, accident insurance, whole life insurance, etc.
Local Government Employees Retirement System (includes Death Benefit)
The City of Newton and its employees participate in a retirement plan for which employees are required to join immediately upon hire. During the time of employment, the City contributes to the employee’s retirement plan. With the employee paying a share and the City paying a share, the retirement program is highly attractive and a better benefit than the retirements plans of most other employers. Funds paid into the retirement system by the employee (plus any interest earned) may be returned to the employee when he/she leaves employment with the City for any reason. A Death Benefit is also included as part of the retirement plan. After one year as a contributing member, a beneficiary designated by the employee will receive a death benefit equal to the highest, consecutive 12-month’s salary during the 24 months preceding the employee’s death, not to exceed $50,000. More information is available in the Human Resources Department.
401K & 457 Plans
The City offers deferred savings plans to employees. Participation in these plans is voluntary. The City is required by law to contribute 5% into a non-Roth 401K account for all sworn law enforcement personnel. For more information, contact the Human Resources Department.
Regular, full-time City employees may receive a minimum of 80 hours vacation leave each year. New employees begin earning vacation hours during the 1st month of employment with the City but may not use vacation leave until completion of a 6-month probationary period. Vacation leave is earned as follows:
If an employee has . . . then he/she earns the following hours . . .
Less than 5 years of service 6.67 hours per month (80 hours annually)
5 to 10 years of service 8 hours per month (96 hours annually)
10 to 15 years of service 10 hours per month (120 hours annually)
15 to 20 years of service 12 hours per month (144 hours annually)
20+ years of service 14 hours per month (168 hours annually)
Police and Fire shift personnel accrue hours at an equivalent rate.
Maximum accumulation of vacation leave will be 240 hours. Any hours accumulated over the maximum will be automatically converted to sick leave.
The employee must obtain the approval of his/her Department Head before taking vacation leave. The employee should give at least two weeks’ notice of his/her wish to use vacation leave. The employee will be paid for unused vacation leave upon termination of employment if he/she has completed the 6-month probationary period and gives and works at least a 2-week notice.
Paid Holidays (11)
The 11 official holidays the City observes each year are as follows:
New Year’s Day
Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday
State Observed Easter Holiday
The Friday following Thanksgiving Day
Christmas (3 days)
Because the City provides a number of 24-hour-a-day services and other services which cannot be interrupted for extended periods of time, certain employees may be required work on a holiday. Those employees having to work on a holiday will be paid for the hours worked that day and will also earn 8 hours of compensatory time. Some City employees, such as fire shift personnel or sanitation workers, will be paid 8 hours for each holiday at the employee’s regular rate of pay.
Regular, full-time City employees earn 8 hours of sick leave each month. New employees begin earning sick hours during the 1st month of employment with the City but may not use sick leave until completion of a 6-month probationary period. To protect employees and their families in the event of a serious illness, sick leave may be accumulated without limit or expiration. If the employee is transferring from another local government, the City may accept up to 240 hours of accrued sick leave from a previous governmental employer. For more information, contact the Human Resources Department.
The improper use of sick leave by an employee is cause for disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Sick leave with pay is a privilege provided by the City to its employees. It is not a right, by law, the employee may demand.
In certain instances, employees may donate sick leave to fellow employees. When an employee experiences a catastrophic illness and has exhausted all personal leave balances, an employee may wish to come to a co-workers aid by donating sick leave to the affected employee. A copy of the sick leave donation policy is available in the Human Resources Department or may be obtained by clicking here.
All City employees (full-time, part-time, seasonal, and reserve), elected or appointed officials, and volunteers on City boards and commissions are eligible for the many benefits and products offered by the Local Government Federal Credit Union. For more information, contact the Human Resources Department.
Longevity checks are based upon an employee’s length of service and are payable in December. To receive a longevity check, an employee must still be employed at the time of disbursement. All full-time employees’ longevity pay will be calculated as a percentage of total wages earned from the 1st check date in December of the preceding year to the last check date in November of the current year. Regular, part-time employees will be paid a flat rate of $25, regardless of length of service and total wages earned during the specified time period.
Longevity pay shall be paid at the following rates:
A) Part-time employees $25
B) Less than 1 year of service $25
C) 1-5 years of service 1% of annual salary
D) 5-10 years of service 1 ½% of annual salary
E) 10-15 years of service 2% of annual salary
F) 15-20 years of service 2 ½% of annual salary
G) 20+ years of service 3% of annual salary
Education and Training
The City is committed to furthering employees’ education and training. Financial assistance may be available for courses which will either improve an employee’s ability to perform his/her current position or to prepare the employee for a position with the City which will demand a higher skill or ability level. Special approval by the City Manager is required before beginning and participating in this program.
Support for Education
The City of Newton’s Mayor and Council supports education by encouraging City employees to participate in and to be involved with activities that promote an environment of high-quality learning. Contact the Human Resources Department regarding time spent in (1) parent-teacher conferences and school support activities (2) tutorial or mentoring programs (3) guest lecturing, and (4) substitute teaching. Time spent involved in these types of activities, up to 4 hours per calendar year, may be credited to the employee as hours worked and not counted against leave balances.
Safety and Wellness Program
The City of Newton offers a comprehensive safety and wellness program. A nurse staffs a City clinic three days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Departments conduct monthly safety and wellness meetings at which detailed training and/or education regarding safety and wellness is disseminated to all employees. OSHA required training is held on site annually.
Fitness equipment is provided for employee use at several locations in the Police, Fire, and Recreation Departments. For more information, contact the departments mentioned.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
The City of Newton cares for both the physical and mental health and well-being of each of its employees. The City’s EAP provider grants each employee and his/her eligible dependents up to 5 free visits per fiscal year. Any additional visits would be payable under the employee’s existing medical insurance coverage.
Civil Service Leave
If an employee is summoned to service either as a juror or as a witness for the State, his/her supervisor must be immediately notified. The employee will be granted leave at his/her regular rate of pay for the duration of the service. No charge will be made against the employee’s accumulated leave balances (sick, vacation, compensatory), and the employee may keep any juror’s pay that is received.