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Newest alderman tackles expansion in employee benefits



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Following through on her promise to be an employee advocate in her new role as a Jonesborough alderman, Virginia Causey argued for, and won, an increase in life insurance benefits for all full-time town employees.

“It is a little more expensive, but I think it shows the employes that we care about them,” Causey said.

The issue came to the board following an investigation into raising the standard employee life insurane policy from $25,000 to $50,000 for town police officers ad firefighters.

After Town Recorder Abbey Miller was able to negotiate a rate for that change with little to no increase in expenses, the idea of expanding the increase to all full-time employees was suggested.

The town currently has 115 full-time employees. The extra cost to the town for the year to cover all full-time employees with a $50,000 life insurance policy would be about $5,195.

That expense, Causey believed, is well worth it. While she acknowledged that police officers and firefighters face very real and specific danger, she said regular employees deserved consideration as well.

“I would like to say that all employees are put in danger at one time or another,” Causey said. “I think if we are going to do it for one set of employees, we should do it for all.”

While discussion included suggestions to postpone the matter until the board began work on next year’s budget, Causey believed the money could easily be found and the motion should not wait.

Alderman Terry Countermine seconded Causey’s motion to include all full-time employees in the increase and the motion passed 3-1 with Causey, Countermine and Alderman Adam Dickson in favor, and Alderman David Sell opposed.