February 7, 2009

Eliminate All Overtime in the Public Sector

Monique Chartier

We've probably all heard of the coordinated sick/overtime scam. I call in sick one day this week so Joe gets to come in on overtime. Next week, Joe calls in sick and I come in on overtime. Now multiply by X.

Add to that the nonsense that Justin brings to our attention of elected officials in Tiverton who irresponsibly signed a contract which fails to specify that employees stagger their vacations so as to keep manning requirements at reasonable levels.

Readers are encouraged to append their own examples of systematic or contractual overtime abuse.

How much of the overtime paid out, say, over the last ten years, was really necessary? And what has been the cost?

Enough. End overtime in the public sector. As we listen to the gasps of horror from certain quarters at the mere suggestion, keep in mind that workers would not be "paid in apples", as Justin phrased it, for anything beyond forty hours but his or her regular hourly rate.

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Two words: major snowstorm.
Think about the consequences of a broad no-overtime edict then.

Posted by: rhody at February 8, 2009 6:19 PM

The only way to get our arms around this beast is to make sweeping changes like the one Monique suggests here - snowstorm or no. The abuse is beyond out of control at this point. Anyone who can get away with it does so. End it now and save our money.

I always compare to what the private sector would tolerate, and it wouldn't be any where near the level of abuse in our public sector.

Posted by: American Patriot at February 8, 2009 10:02 PM

But if we eliminate such overtime won't we negatively impact those "highest consecutive three years' earnings" used to calculate pension benefits?

Oh, we could never do that. After all, those hard working state employees were counting on the availability of overtime, since it was in effect on the day they were hired. So we can't change it now. We can never change it. This wouldn't be fair.

Thus sayeth Bob Walsh et als.

Posted by: Tom W at February 8, 2009 10:44 PM

If they are salaried employees, why would they be paid overtime?

Posted by: Will at February 9, 2009 1:39 AM

I practically get chased out of the office after 40 hours - that's how deeply abhorrent my company finds overtime. And my opportunities to get OT at a higher rate on holidays have shrunk faster than the Dow.
How about this: in exchange for no longer paying a higher rate for overtime, ensure that overtime is no longer mandatory. Sound fair?

Posted by: rhody at February 9, 2009 3:10 PM

Don't you guys reaslize its the town and states fault for the overtime? They don't employ enough employees for the work that needs to get done,(because they don't want to pay the benefits) so they would rather call in the overtime and then in turn blame the unions.Also overtime does not get factored into the state pension.

Posted by: dave at February 11, 2009 8:38 AM

If you hire enough employees to reach min staffing req.(which keeps the public safe) then the cities and towns wouldn't have to pay ot. I suppose you would work extra hours and take extra time away from your family and not be compensated for it?!

Posted by: pat at February 11, 2009 4:25 PM
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