Council wants better grasp of mushrooming overtime costs

City council analyzes employee overtime
Posted at 5:31 PM, Aug 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-13 18:39:36-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi has seen a massive increase in the amount of overtime it is paying city employees.

A total of $13 million was paid in overtime to employees last year, up $6 million since 2011.

During a meeting today, City Council discussed a new policy and how it plans to monitor those numbers.

One of the major areas of concern was the fire department.

Its rise in overtime is due to several job vacancies.

The hope is that an increase in fire academy cadets will fill open positions and lower overtime with current employees.

"The city's going to up the fire academy from 34 applicants to 50 so that they can cut down on the amount of overtime,” Councilman Greg Smith said. “We just don’t have enough firefighters out there, so that’s driven our overtime cost up."

The new overtime policy proposal includes, creating a standard operating procedure for all city departments to analyze how and when the overtime is used annually.

That will allow an annual budget to be made in anticipation of overtime costs.

Also written approval must be given before any overtime hours are worked.