Thursday, November 14, 2013

Letter to the Editor: Salafia Weighs in on City Overtime

 Below is a letter to the editor published as a courtesy to readers; all opinions expressed are that of the author and not necessarily that of the Insider staff.   
In the Middletown Press is an article about the high amount of overtime paid over the last 3 years.  I've several comments about the article and statements made in it.  First of all for as long as I can remember, overtime has been an issue for the City; the mantra has been "we need to control our overtime costs."  The Mayor is quoted as now requiring the Directors to control overtime costs; news flash - not new, the Directors have always been cognizant of overtime costs and responsible for their budgets.  The article states that we've a new Chief Management Analyst; I would like to know who this new employee is? when hired? job description?  What department?
Also, the article states that of the three years, 2012 was the lowest.  However, not mentioned is the change in scheduling that was supposed to provide better coverage and to lower overtime.  Is that a factor or not?
Also, the article states that they are adding 5 new employees from a grant.  Has this grant actually been accepted? The City will have to absorb the cost of these employees after the grant expires; has this cost been compared to the cost of overtime?
We've had a couple of really difficult years with storms and have been lucky to have some of our costs reimbursed by FEMA.  Also, we've learned through experience that having a fully staffed department, Central Communications is a prime example, that overtime costs go down. 
But from what I'm reading, looks like not much has changed:  overtime is still a problem and nothing has changed.
Linda Salafia, Middletown
Salafia (R) is a former Common Councilmember,  retired city employee having served as Payroll Supervisor, and former vice president of AFSCME Local 466 Municipal employee union for the City of Middletown

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