August 21, 2014

Elyria
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Elyria considers change to overtime policy

ELYRIA — A proposal to change a long-held policy regarding overtime for city managers, supervisors and foremen — the middle management who bridge the gap between department heads and union employees — is being considered.

On Monday night, Safety Service Director Mary Siwierka asked the City Council Finance Committee to change a few portions of Chapter 165 of the city’s codified ordinances to reduce the number of overtime hours non-union employees can earn.

When an employee is called into work beyond a regular shift and it’s at a time that is not within an hour of the start or end of the day — regardless of how much work is performed — that employee receives four hours of overtime pay.

When it’s closer to the start or end of the workday, they receive two hours of overtime.

“Overtime is not supposed to be for hypothetical time or bonus time,” Siwierka said. “If you look to other cities in terms of overtime for their managers and supervisors, I am sure you will see that Elyria’s policy is much more generous.”

Siwierka said the proposal calls for overtime to go from four-hour increments to two-hour blocks, and from two hours to one hour nearer to a shift start or end.

Conservatively speaking, it could save the city $50,000 a year, she said.

Roughly 25 employees fall into the category of non-union middle management.

Committee members passed the measure so it can be voted on by the full Council, but there appears to be some reluctance to change the longstanding policy. It will likely see three readings, which is unusual for Council as legislation is typically voted on much sooner.

This portion of Chapter 165 has been on the books for non-union employees since at least 1997 and likely took effect when one or all of the six collective bargaining groups in the city negotiated the perk.

Council then voted to give the same benefit to union employees. In the colloquial sense, it’s commonly referred to as the “me, too” caveat of collective bargaining agreements.

Councilman Larry Tanner, D-1st Ward, questioned why the administration was pushing so hard for the change. It was brought to Council last July, but was rejected with little discussion.

“It’s just a way of getting a hammer to use against the union to say this is what management is doing, so you should do it, too,” he said.

Mayor Holly Brinda said if changing the ordinance affects negotiations, that should not be seen as a bad thing.

“We have spent too many years being backwards in our discussions,” she said. “We need to lead by example. We value our employees and want to compensate all fairly, which is why we have to have these conversations. It’s about being fair to the employees, the city and the taxpayers.”

Tanner said the change could lead to employees not coming in when called.

However, Richard Jackson, the city’s assistant safety service director in charge of human resources, said he doesn’t foresee that happening. Those who want to work overtime will come in, he said.

“But you can’t say that person can get 20 hours of overtime and actually only work nine hours. It’s not fair to taxpayers,” he said.

Law Director Scott Serazin said there are many sections of Chapter 165 that began in union contracts.

“A lot of them weren’t probably thought through clearly as to how they would affect management and employees,” Serazin said. “It goes without saying that when management is called out to do something and union employees are called out to do something, they are there to do very different jobs.”

Other changes to Chapter 165 that are being requested will affect employees less. They involve pay premiums for working weekends, reimbursement for parking and having an employee savings bond plan. The latter two are more about housekeeping as the practices have long disappeared, but the ordinances stayed on the books.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.

 

  • GreatRedeemer

    I would be of the opinion that non union managers should be
    exempt employees and not eligible for overtime.

    • Joe Joe

      NO PROBLEM. LOOKS LIKE THAT WATER BREAK IN YOUR FRONT YARD WILL GET FIXED ON MONDAY. NO BOSS WILL COME IN WITHOUT PAY, WHICH MEANS NO WORKERS WILL BE CALLED IN WITHOUT SUPERVISION. THE RESIDENTS OF ELYRIA WILL JUST PAY FOR THE WATER LOST IN THEIR MONTHLY BILL;)

      • GreatRedeemer

        Exempt employees are not guaranteed working only a 40 hour work week. Why wouldn’t they come in ?

      • luvmytoaster

        I take it you work for the city of Elyria?

      • Pablo Jones

        Maybe they shouldn’t be managers then. I’m sure some of the other people wouldn’t mind stepping up.

        • Joe Joe

          MOST MANAGEMENT GET PAID OVERTIME. ONLY MCDONALDS AND PEOPLE THAT LIVE IN ELYRIA (WELFARE) DON’T LIKE GETTING PAID. JUST ANOTHER REASON ELYRIA IS A DUMP. SEE GHETTO MALL (MIDWAY).

          • Pablo Jones

            Most full time managers don’t get paid over time. Those on salary get what their salary is. Some get straight time, that is they get X amount per hour and if they work 30 hours get paid X * 30 if they work 60 hours they get X*60.

            It isn’t a conspiracy, they know what they will make when they start their job.

  • Larry

    I agree. Once your a manager, you accept the fact you may be doing additional time without pay. I would also ask what number other cities our size have as “Middle Managers”. I would think a lot of cities, like business, have done away with a lot of these positions.

  • Sis Delish

    Now, if they can only get the 4th of July overtime waiver from the Unions so they can afford Fireworks… or was it the 2nd or 3rd of July…

  • rightwingnutjobsareaproblem

    It would really be nice if they could restructure the union workers contracts as well, the money wasted on these empty overtime hours is ridiculous. A private business would never agree to such insane benefits.

    • tj21269 .

      good point but a I read this it appears to me the city has a management problem with overtime not to mention, 25 or so middle managers

  • Mark B

    It would also be a huge savings if the Sanitation workers worked a full day, instead of a half of a day with a full days pay. Why not extend their routes so they will be earning all of the money they are paid. Or if they want to continue to only work half of a day , then only pay them for a half of a day. Then they are paid overtime when they come back to work at 4pm to collect leaves and such. Only in Elyria can you get FULL TIME PAY for PART TIME WORK.

  • bigmacky

    cops do it too – if they are off duty (say they work noons or nights)and go to court for 15 mins they get 4 hrs overtime so maybe the system does need to be looked at – maybe that’s why the wages are so bloated – but I do agree – once you take that supervisory role – you are salary and not eligible for overtime – maybe compensatory time (straight time for time) but not overtime

    • luvmytoaster

      Let’s not forget about the Firefighters also…..they can run an overtime scam with the best of them……

      • bigmacky

        forgot about the golden “boys” my bad

        • Joe Joe

          THAT’S RIGHT, THEY ONLY PULL YOU ELYRIA DRUNKS OUT OF FIRES THAT YOU START. HOW DARE THEY!

        • Mark B

          Elyria needs to go to a all volunteer fire dept

  • luvmytoaster

    If I work overtime I get paid ONLY for hours worked over 40 hours/week….this is bullsh*t! Want to know why your taxes are so high? This is only one small reason. Shame on you Elyria!

  • john legend

    What? You people dont get paid overtime? What is wrong with the places you work. Overtime is anything over 8 hrs. Boy you people are getting screwed.

    • http://comradealan.com/ Alan Pugh

      And notice how they seem to cheer the idea of workers being paid less. Working class solidarity is dead in this town.
      Hint: If someone else is getting overtime pay and you’re not, the answer isn’t to drag them down to your paygrade; the solution is to organize and improve your own pay and benefits.

      • Sis Delish

        Actually, the solution is to work harder, become exempt from paying Union Dues and become more valuable to society in general.

        Your solution is soooo 50′s.

  • john legend

    Thats right rightwing, Us union slugs getting paid big bucks and the contractors are making money, while your private businesses are paying low wages with lousy insurances and retirement plans, and making hand over foot and laughing at you all the way to the bank.

    • rightwingnutjobsareaproblem

      I work for a private company and get payed pretty well, as well as receive pretty good benefits. How can you say that taxpayers should be paying people for 4 hours of overtime when they work less than 4 hours? It makes no sense and is a complete waste of money, money that could be better spent in other areas. Elyria is becoming a sh*thole and could use all of this wasted money to better itself.

      • tj21269 .

        if this is such a waste why is management not held accountable? do you know if this is a big cost

        • Pablo Jones

          Because the same people get elected over and over. Accountability comes from the top down, why be accountable if there is nothing to gain or lose. The unions throw their support for those that will keep the gravy train rolling.

          Those that are tired of seeing wasted dollars and no one fixing it leave. It is a downward spiral and won’t stop until people are elected that will take a hard stand.

      • http://comradealan.com/ Alan Pugh

        Let me guess… they could start by stealing this benefit from workers that are coming in on their own personal time, and give it back in the form of tax cuts to people who are already well off? I’ll pass.

        • rightwingnutjobsareaproblem

          No, they could pay them the overtime for the actual hours worked, that would be a good start. You must be mistaken because I’m a liberal, so no I wouldn’t use the money in that way. I do know there are plenty of roads that need to be repaved, and I’m sure there are other ways it could be used to help out the general public.

          • tj21269 .

            so help me understand, the city could make the managers work and get paid for only those hours worked? if so why is this not happening, who is responsible for watching the actual hours worked?

        • Sis Delish

          The Only Stealing, as you define it, going on in this story is by the folks getting paid as a result of some gimme clause in a Union Contract which the City is attempting to rescind back to reality.

          Ya gotta get over your Socialistic Ways, young man…. someday, you’ll have money and you’ll want to protect it from the folks like yourself.

          • http://comradealan.com/ Alan Pugh

            I just wanted to put this out there to help you save your time: I don’t read troll posts, and I’ve long since stopped reading yours after I realized the first few were nonsense.

            You can keep responding if you want attention from others; just know that I’m not wasting my time.

          • Sis Delish

            Gee, and I was trying so hard to get on Your Favorite Educator’s List… bye bye, Grasshopper.

        • Pablo Jones

          In most cases it is optional. It isn’t stealing. Here are the rules how you will be paid, do you accept it and come in or not.

          Saying it is stealing is like a kid saying a teacher stole his A because he didn’t do his homework.

          • http://comradealan.com/ Alan Pugh

            Don’t get me wrong, I was using hyperbolic language. Of course it isn’t stealing in the sense that money is being illegal removed from them, but rather that they may eliminate a benefit which would effectively become a pay cut for on-call workers.
            A better analogy would be a teacher who offers extra credit each quarter, only to tell students mid-quarter that the opportunity is cancelled. Extra credit is obviously credit that you didn’t earn as part of your grade, but that you worked outside the box to earn as a benefit.

    • Sis Delish

      So, what’s YOUR complaint?

  • john legend

    Amen Mr. Pugh, Don’t hate the player hate the game.

  • Bill Love

    I love how the mayor says it about being fair to the employees and taxs payers.how come they are nit going after the unions o thats right she needs the union dues to fund her re election

  • Sis Delish

    Civic Pride went away when the Socialists came for a visit, but like a bad in-law, they stayed.