Friday, December 26, 2014

Toronto Business Paid $31m in Overtime Last Year


Torstar News Service
More than 100 city employees made more than $20,000 in overtime pay last year.

Of those, nearly all earned more than $100,000 in 2013, in part because of those high payouts.

The city paid a total of $30.7 million in overtime last year. Close to 12,000 city employees received a piece of that, ranging from just 30 cents to more than $78,000, according to city data obtained by Torstar News Service.

More than 1,200 of those employees, from across 28 divisions, earned more than $100,000 for the year.

Those overtime figures, say councillors and union officials, may be the unintended consequence of budget cuts under former mayor Rob Ford that forced some senior officials to make unallocated reductions — working with fewer staff but faced with a burgeoning workload due to unprecedented events such as last year’s ice storm.

Councillor Shelley Carroll, who served as budget chair under former mayor David Miller and sits on this term’s budget committee, said some managers try to balance the budget by filling the gap left when employees retire or leave with extra labour from other workers in the department — something that can result in an increase in overtime pay.

“Everybody ends up filling the gap,” Carroll said. “It’s a false economy.”

Toronto Water paid out the most in overtime, with some of it linked to last year’s ice storm. In 2010, city overtime hit $45 million and city managers implemented changes to curtail costs.

For 2013, it’s not clear, in cases where employees’ salaries topped $100,000, what portion of that came from overtime pay, because the city — citing privacy concerns — deleted those figures from records provided to the Torstar through a freedom of information request.

The city argued Torstar could identify those employees by matching their pay to the public Sunshine List — the provincially mandated salary disclosure that names all public servants making more than $100,000 and lists their earnings.

A Torstar review of Toronto employees on the Sunshine List shows most non-executive workers were making just over $100,000 but less than $200,000.
The city currently employs more than 35,000 full- and part-time staff earning a total of $1.98 billion in 2013.

The division with the most overtime in 2013 was Toronto Water, with $6.76 million in total payouts.

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