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Overtime Study

Overtime Study

Report of the
1999-2000 San Francisco Civil Grand Jury

SUMMARY

The Civil Grand Jury investigated overtime compensation, the way overtime is awarded to employees, its fiscal impact, its use by and effect on various departments, the manner in which overtime is controlled, and its short-term and long-term consequences for the City.

Some employees receiving overtime are able to substantially enhance their pensions due to overtime worked. Over the life of the employee’s pension, the City pays or incurs a pension obligation approximately 10 times the employee’s regular hourly rate for each hour of overtime worked. The cost of overtime in this instance is grossly disproportionate to the benefits received by the City and results in a huge windfall to the employee. The amount received by the employee can be approximately 20 times the employee’s regular hourly rate.

Causes of excessive overtime are identified, and examples of impact to the Retirement System are presented. Both department-specific and general recommendations are presented.


BACKGROUND

1. OVERTIME COSTS AND PRODUCTIVITY IN GENERAL

In its simplest form, overtime generally results in the City paying one and one-half times the usual hourly pay for each hour of work. While there are some savings from not having to incur the cost of fringe benefits and employment taxes when the City does not hire additional employees to perform needed tasks, the cost to the City for most overtime is approximately 30 percent greater than the employee’s regular hourly compensation. It is generally recognized that excessive overtime can decrease employee work performance and productivity.

2. PENSION ENHANCEMENT AND COST

Some employees receiving overtime are able to substantially enhance their pensions due to overtime worked. The cost of this overtime lasts as long as the employee receives pension benefits. The pension benefit received by the employee is more than the cost to the City due to accrual of pension plan earnings (e.g., interest or dividends) that reduce the amount the City is required to contribute to the City pension plan. City pension plan costs are based on an assumed 8.25 percent return; if the pension plan investments return more than 8.25 percent, as they have in recent years, the cost to the City is reduced accordingly.

Over the life of the employee’s pension, the City pays or incurs a pension obligation approximately 10 times the employee’s regular hourly rate for each hour of overtime worked. The cost of overtime in this instance is grossly disproportionate to the benefits received by the City and results in a huge windfall to the employee. The amount received by the employee can be approximately 20 times the employee’s regular hourly rate.

3. TIER 1 - EMPLOYEES ELIGIBLE FOR PENSION ENHANCEMENT

Certain employees have the ability to increase their pensions by working overtime. In 1976, the City Charter was amended to preclude overtime from being considered in calculating a subsequently hired employee’s pension. Currently only Miscellaneous Employees (everyone other than Police and Fire Department employees) employed prior to November 2, 1976, are eligible for pension enhancement due to overtime. As provided by the San Francisco Retirement System, as of July 1, 1998, there were 2,782 employees in this category (also known as Tier 1 Employees), broken out as follows:

Employee Type

Number of Employees

Municipal Railway

312

Craft Workers (Department of Public Works, Water Department)

320

Other

2150

TOTAL

2,782


Pensions for these employees are based upon age, years of service and "final" salary. Final salary consists of the employee’s highest compensation in any year of employment.

4. OPPORTUNITY FOR PENSION ENHANCEMENT

Institutionalizing practices at certain City departments results in overtime opportunities being afforded to those employees on the verge of retirement, thereby making an enhanced pension benefit opportunity available to the employee. Usually that results in overtime hours being worked by a soon-to-be-retired employee, which are far in excess of the overtime hours worked in previous years by that employee. The awarding of an overtime opportunity to an employee may be controlled by a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between a City department and the employee’s union. In some instances, the department MOU provides for rotating overtime amongst department employees and in other instances provides for senior employees (usually the highest paid) to have priority in the awarding of overtime. During investigation, the Civil Grand Jury was told that in some cases cronyism may be used as the basis for awarding overtime. A senior employee on the verge of retirement may thus be given the opportunity for pension enhancement. An existing practice affords an employee who is about to retire the opportunity to receive overtime assignments in his or her final years of employment. An employee then accrues overtime pay, resulting in a pension benefit that has been substantially increased over the amount of the benefit that would otherwise have been paid to the employee.

The Civil Grand Jury was informed that another method that can be used by Tier 1 Public Transportation Department (Municipal Railway) employees to increase pension benefits is to switch from supervisory positions back to regular driver positions in the year prior to retirement. Regular driver positions can offer greater chances for overtime, and also offer a greater variety of job tasks, than do supervisory positions.

5. UNFILLED POSITIONS USED TO FUND OVERTIME

Employees in various departments rely on being able to work overtime in order to supplement their income. Although this would suggest that those employees may be underpaid or otherwise in need of additional income, this need may create a disincentive to add employees when the requirement for additional staffing arises. Certain City departments have not filled authorized personnel positions and have used the amount budgeted for unfilled positions to pay overtime to existing employees, including those eligible for pension enhancement. Department heads have the latitude to shift budgeted employee compensation for unfilled positions to overtime pay.


METHODOLOGY

The Civil Grand Jury interviewed various City department administrators and reviewed fiscal year 1999 payroll records (July 1, 1998 through June 30, 1999) of all City Departments where overtime hours had exceeded 16 percent of regular hours. This report from the Controller’s Office reflects that approximately 2,600 employees reached this level of overtime.

Those departments with significant numbers of employees earning overtime pay substantially in excess of their base pay are the focus of this report. However, in order to reduce the data to a more manageable size, the following charts are limited to employees whose base pay is over $40,000 and whose overtime hours exceeded 25 percent of their regular hours.


MUNICIPAL RAILWAY

The Municipal Railway functions seven days a week. Employees who work a five-day workweek can call in sick or otherwise not show up on a regular employment day and come to work on one of their days off. This results in the employee being paid time and a half for the day worked. Even if pay is docked for the day not worked, the employee has increased his/her income for the week by the amount of extra overtime pay.

Of the 3,582 Municipal Railway-funded positions, 1,269 workers received overtime hours greater than 16 percent of their regular hours. Simply put, more than one of every three Municipal Railway workers fell into this category. This level of overtime may introduce a fatigue factor, and further studies may be able to show some linkage between personnel with significant overtime hours and those involved in traffic accidents.

It must also be noted that about 466 Municipal Railway employees in our current study had an annual salary above $40,000, and this amount was supplemented by overtime hours which was at least 25 percent of their regular hours. Just to highlight this situation, below is a listing of those employees who received more in overtime pay they received in their annual base pay.

NAME

JOB

BASE PAY

OVERTIME PAY

OVERTIME HOURS

Jeffrey Chow

Transit Supervisor

$43,005

$90,368

2,046

Evette Geer-Stevens

Transit Supervisor

59,243

77,013

1,761

Wade Lee

Transit Operator

45,905

57,349

1,881

Danilo Farrales

Transit Supervisor

55,189

66,241

1,534

Edward Dennis

Transit Operator

44,981

53,572

1,742

Gene McClain

Transit Operator

44,058

52,842

1,697

James Rogers

Transit Operator

45,353

53,057

1,725

Stephen Dickson

Transit Operator

43,937

49,917

1,634

Udanial Hamilton

Transit Operator

45,371

50,657

1,662

Arturo Poblette

Transit Operator

45,837

50,987

1,672

Raymond Triplitt

Transit Supervisor

59,243

67,192

1,518

John Kantor

Transit Operator

44,997

46,865

1,537

Allan Buscaglia

Transit Supervisor

59,017

63,550

1,425

Leon Clark

Transit Operator

45,047

46,462

1,529

Robert Wiseman

Transit Operator

44,392

46,254

1,503

Prospero Sunga

Transit Supervisor

45,780

46,198

1,463

 

FIRE DEPARTMENT

There were 156 Fire Department employees who had overtime hours greater than 16 percent of their regular hours. Of this group, about 9 out of 10 were uniformed fire-fighters/paramedics. Again, this level of overtime may introduce a fatigue factor, and further studies might be able to uncover some linkages between front-line Fire Department personnel with significant overtime hours and those involved in street accidents or fire injuries.

Below is a listing of Fire Department personnel who had an annual salary over $40,000 and who additionally received overtime hours which amounted to more than 25 percent of regular hours.

NAME

JOB

BASE PAY

OVERTIME PAY

OVERTIME HOURS

Larry Sinigiani

Firefighter

$57,258

$52,248

1,554

Charles Lesca

Firefighter

57,658

44,961

1,292

Robert Postel

Firefighter

56,057

42,810

1,272

Michael Arsanis

Fire Rescue Paramed

62,254

44,152

1,261

James Kenyon

Firefighter

56,857

39,907

1,188

Ray Crawford

Fire Rescue Paramed

62,554

42,893

1,153

Stephen Lynch

Firefighter

58,661

35,854

1,068

John Cavanaugh

Captain, EMS

63,822

40,082

900

Sebastian Wong

Captain, EMS

61,234

36,415

816

Patrick Gardner

Lt. FD

65,910

37,726

964

William Gunn

Plumber Sup.

72,372

40,673

782

James Beem

Fire Rescue Paramed

61, 856

34,220

920

M. Tragesser

Fire Rescue Paramed

63,139

33,938

916

James Dunson

Lt. FD

65,080

33,152

709

Michael Jones

Lt. FD

71,092

32,723

836

Timothy Howe

Fire Rescue Paramed

62,910

29,212

788

Ernest Ware

Lt. FD

65,538

29,046

744

Elyse Duckett

Firefighter

55,787

24,058

716

John Faulkner

Firefighter

56,057

24,179

720

Thaddeus Golas

Firefighter

57,258

18,200

540

George Bruce

Lt. FD

65,910

27,887

713

Sheila Reid

Payroll Clerk

45,159

19,050

592

Curtis Young

Lt. FD

76,913

33,433

721

M. Creedon

Firefighter

56,191

23,291

695

Conrad Brosas

Firefighter

56,057

23,197

688

Alfred Rizotto

Lt. FD

65,585

24,773

634

Rudolph Erler

Firefighter

65,960

26,438

677

M. Thompson

Firefighter

45,434

19,646

672

W. Demattei

Lt. FD

65,074

26,287

672

Vincente Cogal

Fire Rescue Paramed

62,722

19,064

516

Paul Wyrsch

Firefighter

56,857

22,541

672

Frank Agius

Firefighter

55,718

21,590

644

Gerald Coghlan

Firefighter

56,457

21,766

648

James Griffin

Lt. FD

65,073

24,844

636

D. Gerhardt

Firefighter

56,435

21,353

531

Eric Nylander

Fire Rescue Paramed

61,703

24,591

628

W. Landivar

Lt. FD

65,074

24,591

631

John Christy

Fire Rescue Paramed

74,049

24,534

663

 

HEALTH DEPARTMENT

Below is a listing of Public Health Department employees who had an annual base pay over $40,000 and whose regular pay was supplemented by overtime hours which were at least 25 percent of their regular hours.

NAME

JOB

BASE PAY

OVERTIME PAY

OVERTIME HOURS

Charles Reinhart

Psych. Tech.

$48,914

$56,821

1,600

Frances Ye

Unit Clerk

45,251

39,541

1,264

William Riggs

Surgical Tech.

49,066

36,110

971

Josephine Perez

Surgical Tech.

49,101

33,350

967

Rose Coleman

Eligibility Worker

48,819

32,927

920

E. Anocleto

Lic. Voc. Nurse

47,474

31,699

882

Anene Ugbaja

Inst. Police Off.

45,980

29,693

838

R. Restauro

Inst. Police Off.

53,199

24,738

829

J. Ballanado

Lic. Voc. Nurse

48,118

24,738

819

Stanley Lee

Stores/Equip Asst Sup.

46,333

25,602

767

Marjorie Rubio

Lic. Voc. Nurse

48,443

26,826

763

F. Garcia

Health Team Leader

45,277

24,161

725

Yuan Hsu

Op. Room Nurse

63,002

41,290

820

Eric Cranston

Inst. Police Off.

51,176

28,568

705

Johnnie Chavez

Psychiatric Tech.

44,212

23,007

657

Adlaida Samson

Surg. Proc. Tech.

49,097

25,085

720

Delmy Hinds

Hosp. Eligibility

49,832

25,509

713

Mylene Espiritu

Lic. Voc. Nurse

42,109

18,519

648

E. Palacios

Truck Driver

41,879

20,846

568

Moises Tiglao

Radiologic Tech.

52,690

27,379

640

Samuel Cherry

Inst. Police Off.

47,796

19,980

581

N. Gammad

Lic. Voc. Nurse

46,189

15,281

568

John Majka

Inst. Police Off.

47,446

21,898

639

Judy Chou

Hosp. Eligibility

49,645

21,032

563

Marisa Allen

Lic. Voc. Nurse

43,899

18,482

578

V. Alibutod-Romabile

Lic. Voc. Nurse

40,606

16,546

541

Larry Prosper

Inst. Police Off.

53,610

21,277

542

M. Barquero

Lic. Voc. Nurse

47,552

16,955

518

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT

Of the 2,595 Police Department funded positions, 614 employees (or approximately one of every four employees) received overtime hours greater than 16 percent of their regular hours.

About 220 Police Department employees had an annual salary above $40,000 and this compensation was supplemented by overtime hours of at least 25 percent of their regular hours. To highlight this situation, below is a listing of those employees whose overtime hours exceeded 50 percent of their regular hours.

NAME

JOB

BASE PAY

OVERTIME PAY

OVERTIME HOURS

James Gaan

Police Officer

$63,921

$71,361

1,566

M. Thompson

Sergeant

67,737

71,361

1,440

John Fewer

Inspector

68,990

61,796

1,248

Curtis Dowling

Police Officer

59,425

53,152

1,245

A. Johnson

Police Officer

59,425

52,084

1,219

Robert Ramos

Police Officer

56,114

49,072

1,220

A. La Rocca

Police Officer

55,573

48,400

1,202

P. Schlotfeldt

Police Officer

62,361

53,695

1,201

Ross Laflin

Police Officer

59,480

51,061

1,195

James Hickson

Police Officer

63,489

54,269

1,191

D. Clennell

Police Officer

63,183

53,827

1,181

Michael Gaynor

Inspector

68,398

57,831

1,167

Phillip Frenkel

Police Officer

56,110

46,394

1,152

Edward Weaver

Police Officer

62,410

49,311

1,100

Dominic Yin

Police Officer

58,408

46,184

1,101

Edbert Dare

Police Officer

63,837

49,960

1,095

M. Simmons

Police Officer

58,076

45,404

1,083

G. Constantine

Police Officer

59,198

46,224

1,082

Robert Bonnet

Police Officer

63,362

49,060

1074

Joseph Toomey

Inspector

68,990

52,356

1,059

J. Ongpin

Police Officer

59,767

45,035

1,055

 

PARKING AND TRAFFIC DEPARTMENT

Below is a listing of Parking and Traffic Department personnel who had an annual base pay in excess of $40,000 and whose base pay was supplemented by overtime hours which were at least 25 percent of their regular hours. We were surprised to find that painters dominated this category.

NAME

JOB

BASE PAY

OVERTIME PAY

OVERTIME HOURS

R. Galarce

Painter

$50,081

$32,625

945

Victor Garcia

Painter

50,667

32,838

925

Romulo Ratola

Painter

50,667

30,534

871

Michael Hart

Painter

50,667

24,555

707

 

RECREATION AND PARK DEPARTMENT

Below is a listing of those employees who had an annual salary in excess of $40,000 and had their pay supplemented by overtime hours at least 25 percent of their regular hours.

NAME

JOB

BASE PAY

OVERTIME PAY

OVERTIME HOURS

Roger Revel

Gardener

$42,447

$28,962

965

F. Halldorson

Gardener

41,753

27,166

906

Michael Bagdon

Gardener

41,753

17,466

585

Joseph Caputo

Gardener

41,753

18,651

622

S. Grech

Groundkeeper

45,955

17,689

537

 

SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT

There were 117 Sheriff’s Department personnel who had overtime hours greater than 16 percent of their regular hours. Of this group, almost 97 percent were sworn deputies. Therefore, it seems that future studies should be made to determine whether some of the current Deputy assignments could be appropriately and adequately performed by non-law enforcement personnel.

Below is a listing of Sheriff’s Department employees who had an annual salary over $40,000 and who had supplemented their pay by overtime hours at least 25 percent of their regular hours.

NAME

JOB

BASE PAY

OVERTIME PAY

OVERTIME HOURS

T. Bradley

Deputy Sheriff

$55,747

$52,244

1,350

M. Turner

Deputy Sheriff

43,449

39,880

1,287

Charles Gatson

Deputy Sheriff

50,318

40,387

1,116

Barry Bloom

Deputy Sheriff

45,351

34,167

1,026

Harry Lee

Deputy Sheriff

41,708

30,696

1,013

Malechi Burris

Sr. Deputy Sheriff

55,539

40,629

1,015

K. McConnell

Deputy Sheriff

42,967

31,234

1,007

Carolyn Gage

Deputy Sheriff

50,322

35,295

989

David Johnson

Deputy Sheriff

42,798

29,681

966

F. Dimapasoc

Deputy Sheriff

50,324

32,750

916

Dwight Hall

Deputy Sheriff

41,876

27,884

907

Lloyd Jones, Jr.

Deputy Sheriff

50,317

27,498

760

Sarah James

Deputy Sheriff

46,086

24,736

753

R. Johnson

Deputy Sheriff

41,949

22,584

621

Kevin Warren

Deputy Sheriff

50,317

26,717

742

April Johnson

Deputy Sheriff

42,202

22,135

743

Ernest Smith

Deputy Sheriff

50,322

26,159

727

D. Carter, Jr.

Deputy Sheriff

50,317

24,513

679

T. Catchings

Deputy Sheriff

41,950

19,977

565

A. Carrasco

Deputy Sheriff

50,317

23,073

646

Anna Payne

Sr. Deputy Sheriff

55,747

25,158

631

 

WATER DEPARTMENT

Of the 67 Water Department employees who received overtime hours greater than 16 percent of their regular hours, more than one third had a total annual income exceeding $100,000. Below is a listing of only those who had an annual base pay of more than $40,000 and who had their pay supplemented by overtime hours of at least 25 percent of their regular hours.

NAME

JOB

BASE PAY

OVERTIME PAY

OVERTIME HOURS

Samuel Botza

Inspector

$65,029

$43,689

937

Carl Spirz

Operating Engineer

60,116

41,327

887

Thomas Sutter

Plumber Supervisor

77,854

47,019

840

Norman Nelson

Plumber Supervisor

72,373

41,013

770

Patrick Shea

Truck Driver

49,137

28,273

740

William Teahan

Plumber Supervisor

72,372

39,285

742

Michael Lyons

Plumber Supervisor

72,233

37,807

709

Michael Reidy

Plumber Supervisor

72,373

37,406

697

Robert Tusch

Plumber Supervisor

72,373

34,457

661

Gerald Lyons

Plumber Supervisor

77,854

36,697

656

D. Gramberg

Stationary Engineer

65,251

30,777

632

John Teahan

Plumber Supervisor

72,373

33,607

630

Phil Marovich

Plumber Supervisor

72,373

32,468

624

L. Contreras

Plumber Supervisor

72,372

33,033

616

M. Spillane

Plumber Supervisor

72,373

32,934

613

Robert Sexton

Operating Engineer

59,360

28,052

590

W. Mecham

Truck Driver

49,137

22,282

569

Angus Pera

Truck Driver

50,492

23,712

587

R. McClean

Plumber Supervisor

72,373

29,921

572

Jorge Vicente

Truck Driver

49,157

22,825

565

Ralpheal Hale

Plumber Apprentice

60,485

24,619

560

D. McCarthy

Plumber Supervisor

72,373

29,556

552

Dennis Oneil

Operating Engineer

60,116

25,553

552

John Rincon

Truck Driver

50,677

20,473

533

Ronald Craig

Operating Engineer

59,829

24,646

532

T. Wortmann

Plumber Supervisor

72,373

28,548

533

 

POTENTIAL BENEFITS AND COSTS DUE TO OVERTIME PENSION ENHANCEMENT

Once a pension is awarded, it is based on the life of the retiree and of the retiree’s qualified survivor (spouse or domestic partner). The retiree has the right to make certain pension benefit selections, which result in different pension amounts based upon the survivor benefit selected. The City is responsible for funding the benefit selected. A Tier 1 employee generally earns a substantially higher pension as a result of working overtime in his/her final years of employment. The annual cost to the City of the pension benefit is increased as a result of pension enhancement.

Using representative overtime hours as reflected in the previous tables, the following table shows the potential for pension enhancement and the potential cost to the City where overtime is earned by Tier 1 employees. The table assumes that the employee is 60 years of age with a 20.6 year life expectancy, that no survivor benefit was selected, that the overtime earnings represents the employee’s highest compensation in the final year prior to retirement, that the base pay in the final year is the highest base achieved by the employee during his/her employment, that all earnings, including overtime in prior years do not exceed the base pay during the final year of employment, and that the retirement fund earns 8.25 percent annually.

 

 

 

 

BASE PAY

 


OT PAY


YEARS
OF SERVICE

MONTHLY BENEFIT WITHOUT OT*

 

OT HOURS


MONTHLY BENEFIT WITH OT

LIFETIME BENEFIT ENHANCED BY OT*

LIFETIME COST OF ENHANCED BENEFIT*

1

$65,029

$43,689

42.8

$4,064

937

$6,830

$683,787

$330,042

2

44,392

46,254

37.4

2,700

1,503

5,547

703,882

339,741

3

45,354

53,057

35.3

2,333

1,725

5,090

681,439

328,908

4

41,753

27,166

32.8

2,083

585

3,464

341,354

164,760

5

45,905

57,349

32.1

2,454

1,881

5,543

763,625

368,577

6

77,855

47,019

29.8

3,867

840

6,214

580,084

279,988

7

43,005

90,368

27.7

1,726

2,046

7,645

1,463,291

706,283

8

41,753

18,561

25.2

1,315

622

1,911

147,109

71,005

9

45,372

50,657

24.8

1,427

2,255

3,044

399,767

192,954

* Benefit calculations by Retirement System

CONCLUSIONS

The following causes of excessive overtime are identified by department. We note that some of the causes may be beyond the control of the department.

POLICE DEPARTMENT:

  • Understaffing
  • court appearances by arresting officer after shift ends or on day off
  • report writing when an arrest is made near end of shift
  • arrested person in need of medical treatment is routinely rejected by the Sheriff’s Department causing the officer, who may be at the end of his shift, to accompany the prisoner to medical facility and to wait until the facility accepts the prisoner
  • City emergencies
  • unplanned protests
  • visits by VIPs
  • supplying officers for private events*
  • street fairs*
  • sporting events*
  • filming of movies and commercials*
  • private security needs of businesses.*

(*in some instances, the City may receive reimbursement of some of the overtime costs)


FIRE DEPARTMENT:

  • Understaffing
  • emergencies
  • absences due to fraudulent worker’s compensation claims
  • illness
  • work rules requiring minimum staffing at stations and to operate equipment
  • general discontent by rank and file with management is believed to be responsible for some absenteeism
  • Overtime paid to employees who participate in the delivery of toys during the Department’s Toys for Tots program
  • Alleged incidents of racism directed at the Chief may have resulted in overtime abuses in order to call into question the Chief’s management skills.

 

MUNICIPAL RAILWAY:

  • Understaffing
  • unexcused absenteeism
  • overtime abuses
  • fraudulent worker’s compensation claims
  • outdated management information systems
  • special events
  • poor hiring practices
  • labor agreements which limit management’s ability to terminate employees for poor attendance.

 


RECOMMENDATIONS

General Comments

A close analysis of the Controller’s overtime report/compilation of 2,600 City government employees revealed there are some job classifications that could provide additional job opportunities while reducing overtime hours. Additional persons hired into these job classifications could significantly reduce the risks and expenses involved with the dependency on overtime used to deliver necessary City services. One possibility is the General Laborer (7514) job classification, which appears in the Port Authority, Water Department, and rather extensively in the Department of Public Works. The other consists of the Security Guards (8202), Institutional Police Officers (8204) and even Museum Guards (8226) who received significant overtime hours in various City departments.

Furthermore, in order to elevate the issue of overtime to the proper priority level, overtime reduction should be connected to two existing monetary controls. One is to affix overtime reduction to the bonuses which City executives generate through the goals they set in Management Performance Reviews. The other is to assign a measurable value to overtime reduction which should be reflected in Performance Measures of departmental budgets.

Finally, the Civil Grand Jury cannot dismiss the widely held general opinion that significant overtime contributes to a fatigue factor in individuals which markedly reduces their peak performance. Therefore, claims against the City should also be compared against the overtime listing in order to determine if those City employees involved in some claims also happen to be recipients of significant overtime hours.


Police/Sheriff

1. Police Officer court appearances should be coordinated with the District Attorney’s Office and the courts to attempt to arrange appearances on a scheduled workday with a realistic time scheduled for the appearance.

Required Response

Police Department
District Attorney


2. The Sheriff’s Department should be responsible for custody of all prisoners delivered to the jail or to a medical facility while awaiting treatment. Individual officers should be relieved of this responsibility.

Required Response

Police Department
Police Commission
Sheriff’s Department


3. Street fairs consume substantial overtime and the entity conducting the fair is only responsible to contribute a maximum of $2,500 toward the costs incurred by the City. This contribution is sometimes waived by the Board of Supervisors depending on political considerations. The fee should be increased and guidelines established for the uniform waiver of fees.

Required Response

Police Department
Board of Supervisors


4. The use of police officers for private functions under Administrative Code section 10b results in some reimbursement to the City for overtime incurred. The Board of Supervisors recently repealed the requirement that a 20 percent fee be charged in addition to the overtime incurred. The repealed fee was not uniformly charged and that served as a reason for its repeal. Currently no charge is assessed for the cost of administering the program or for the use of City equipment by police officers hired under the 10b program. The 20 percent fee should be reinstated and assessed equally in all instances. If a waiver is justified it should be pursuant to established guidelines and not waived on the basis of political considerations.

Required Response

Police Department
Board of Supervisors


5. Studies should be made to determine whether some of the current Deputy assignments could be appropriately and adequately performed by non-law enforcement personnel.

Required Response

Sheriff’s Department


Fire Department

6. Work rules should be re-examined to determine whether the current requirements unnecessarily contribute to overtime requirements.

Required Response

Fire Department
Fire Commission


7. The Department should increase its vigilance in curtailing and prosecuting fraudulent sickness and compensation claims.

Required Response

Fire Department
Fire Commission


8. Investigate incidents determined to be a tactic to discredit the chief, responsible personnel should be identified and disciplined or terminated.

Required Response

Fire Department
Fire Commission


9. While Fire Department personnel understandably wish to witness the joy of a child receiving a toy, the City could arrange for the toys to be delivered in a less costly manner.

Required Response

Fire Department
Fire Commission


10. A comprehensive study ought to be made of Fire Department activities and policies to determine the root causes of its continuing heavy use of overtime.

Required Response

Fire Department
Fire Commission


11. An independent committee should be appointed to work with the Department to establish controls aimed at reducing overtime.

Required Response

Fire Department
Fire Commission


Municipal Railway

12. Legislation is required that would limit payment for overtime only where the workweek exceeds 40 hours. Employees should not be able to be absent during a regular workday and then receive overtime for working on their regular day off during the same workweek.

Required Response

Board of Supervisors
Public Transportation Department


13. Overtime incurred for special events should be budgeted separately thereby allowing management to focus on other root causes of overtime not related to special events.

Required Response

Public Transportation Department


14. Management has a problem obtaining current data due to its use of technologically outdated information systems. Other departments have similar complaints. The City should analyze its information systems and include in its budget funding for a state-of-the-art management information system that potentially can be shared with all departments having similar needs.

Required Response

Public Transportation Department
Human Resources Department


General Recommendations

In addition to the specific recommendations above, we have the following general recommendations that cover all departments. Department heads are responsible for controlling overtime. The budget process consists of departments budgeting for overtime by generally basing the request upon the prior year’s experience. As a result, overtime has become institutionalized as part of the budget. Common experience suggests that a department will find ways to use overtime funds awarded to it in the budget. The City will not be able to control overtime unless the systemic institutionalized process can be diverted to a process which views overtime as an extraordinary expenditure and there is an independent review for all overtime awarded.


15. The Civil Grand Jury believes that there are several job classifications that could provide additional employment opportunities while reducing overtime hours. One possibility is the General Laborer (7514) job classification, which appears in the Port Authority, Water Department, and rather extensively in the Department of Public Works. The other consists of the Security Guards (8202), Institutional Police Officers (8204) and even Museum Guards (8226) who received significant overtime hours in various City departments. Additional persons hired into these job classifications could significantly reduce the risks and expenses involved with the dependency on overtime used to deliver necessary City services.

Required Response

Mayor
Board of Supervisors
Controller


16. Discretionary and emergency overtime should be budgeted separately. Only unforeseen events should be considered in the emergency category.

Required Response

Board of Supervisors
Controller


17. Currently biannual reports are required where overtime for an employee exceeds 16 percent of base pay. Departments should be required to submit the report at the end of each month. The report should document the name of the employee, the amount of overtime pay earned, the reasons for the overtime and the department’s plan of action to eliminate future discretionary overtime.

Required Response

Mayor
Board of Supervisors
Controller


18. Although the offices of the mayor and the controller have recently initiated monthly overtime expenditure reports, monitoring of the report requires that it be submitted for review by an independent body, the responsible commission, the mayor and the Board of Supervisors. Overtime expenditures for all departments should be reviewed by an independent oversight committee appointed by the Board of Supervisors. If the overtime expenditure is found to be excessive, the department head and oversight committee should work together to develop a plan to control future overtime expenditures. Multiple incidents of excessive overtime expenditures should be brought to the attention of the mayor for possible counseling of the department head.

Required Response

Mayor
Board of Supervisors


19. The Mayor, who has the power to hire and who can influence his or her appointed commissioners to fire department heads, has the ultimate responsibility for controlling overtime abuses. The cycle of overtime use, abuses and pension enhancement can be broken if the Mayor exerts leadership by letting department heads know it is City policy that the need for overtime is an extraordinary event and is to be kept to a minimum. It should be the City’s goal to have appropriate staffing to fill the justifiable employee needs of the City, to budget for appropriate staffing, and to seek to reduce overtime as a way of life for City employees.

Required Response

Mayor

Last updated: 4/3/2012 11:34:56 AM