Las Vegas Sun

December 19, 2014

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Union says North Las Vegas firefighters average 4.3 sick days annually

North Las Vegas firefighters take an average of 4.3 sick days each year, according to a union statement issued today in response to a city audit of the department.

The figure, which comes from an internal audit conducted Feb. 1, is about half the national average sick leave of 8.5 days per year, according to the release.

“There are a few firefighters who used some extended sick leave, but there was a genuine need due to extenuating circumstances,” Jeff Hurley, president of the North Las Vegas Firefighters Local 1607, said in a statement. “Sick leave abuse is not a problem in the North Las Vegas Fire Department, and it is not tolerated by anyone.”

City spokeswoman Juliet Casey said Monday that North Las Vegas officials aren't commenting on the union's findings pending the results of the city's own review.

Earlier this month, the North Las Vegas City Council postponed voting on a tentative agreement with the firefighters’ union that would have saved 33 jobs by barring union layoffs during the contract period.

The decision to conduct the audit came after Clark County officials reported widespread sick leave abuse in the Clark County Fire Department. City officials requested the audit to find out whether sick leave abuse was a problem in North Las Vegas.

In 2010, 54 percent of firefighters took five days or fewer of sick leave, 36 percent of firefighters took three days or fewer, and about 10 percent of firefighters took no days of sick leave, according to the internal audit.

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