Patrick says Massport buyback has 'got to change'

February 10, 2010

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BOSTON—Gov. Deval Patrick says the Massachusetts Port Authority has "got to change" a program allowing workers to be paid for up to 15 unused vacation days each year.

The Boston Herald reported Wednesday that one retiring worker combined the vacation bonus with a buyback of his unused sick leave to receive a nearly $300,000 lump sum before he began collecting his pension last year.

Nearly one-third of the agency's employees also took advantage of the buyback program, including Executive Director Thomas Kinton, who got a $17,000 bonus.

Massport says many of its 1,200 workers can't take all the vacation time they're allotted.

Patrick says he has been exasperated about the perks at quasi-independent agencies like Massport, which runs Logan International Airport and port facilities in Boston.