OpenTheBooks Investigation: City Of Baltimore New Hires Receive 40 Days Of Paid Time Off – Eight Full Weeks Each Year – Paid To Stay Home 55_Fox_45_Baltimore_PTO

April 22, 2022 03:40 PM



By Adam Andrzejewski | CEO

The City of Baltimore disclosed 13,990 employees – full and part-time workers – who earned a collective salary of $952.4 million last year. That compensation is just the tip of the iceberg.

Our auditors at found that the typical city employee will receive between 40 and 53 paid days off this year. That’s between eight and 10.5 full work weeks per year where the city employee is paid by taxpayers to stay home!

We estimate this perk costs city taxpayers nearly $200 million each year. With this much paid time off, the headcounts of the city workforce must increase.

Full-time city employees, not including police and fire, get between 12 and 24 vacation days every year, depending on how long they have worked for the city, 11 or 12 paid holidays, 12 sick days, four personal days, and Election Day, every two years. 

Key facts

Employees outside the fire and police departments get 11 holidays, plus Election Day on even numbered years for presidential or congressional elections. 

Full-time employees working for the city for less than six years get 12 vacation days; those with between six and 10 years get 15 vacation days; employees with between 11 and 13 years get 18 vacation days; those with between 14 and 18 years get 21 vacation days; and employees with 19 or more years get 24 vacation days.

Employees get 12 sick days, five of which are front-loaded at the beginning of the year and another seven accrue over 12 months.

Employees get four personal leave days, and, if applicable, four bereavement days, one day for attending graduations and other paid time off, like civil defense leave, military training, jury service and attending union conventions.

Key background and Additional reading

On March 25, 2022, our auditors filed an open records request with the City of Baltimore, Human Resources for the paid time off (PTO) bank accounts per employee. The department violated open records state statutes by refusing to even acknowledge our request, only responding after we asked them to comment separately for this article.

The individual and collective taxpayer liabilities for unused and banked PTO balances could be hundreds of millions of dollars. reviewed the eight union contracts that govern city employees:

  1. The contract between the city and AFSCME, AFL-CIO Council 67 and Local 44 for Baltimore Municipal Employees; 
  2. The contract for AFSCME, AFL-CIO Council 67 and Local 2202 for human service workers; 
  3. City Union of Baltimore Local 800, AFT, AFL-CIO union contract
  4. The managerial and professional society of Baltimore contract
  5. The nurses union contract
  6. The police union contract
  7. The fire officers union contract
  8. The fire fighters union contract

After reviewing these contracts, we were able to compile the PTO benefits for city employees.

City spokesman Jack French said, “Our leave accruals are not substantially different than neighboring jurisdictions.”  

Do you have a tip for our investigators? Please email [email protected].

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