Columbus Shells Out Millions In Overtime Pay For City Workers
The city database that 10 Investigates looked at includes every city employee. In all, taxpayers shelled out more than $27 million in overtime last year.
Most of the money went to police officers, firefighters and utility workers.
Seven of the city’s top ten overtime earners in 2013 work for the Department of Public Safety, and four of them are dispatchers.
The top-earner was a dispatcher whose $54,000 a year salary was supplemented by more than $100,000 in OT and other payments. It came to a grand total of $158,681. That’s just $20,000 less than Police Chief Kim Jacobs.
A police records technician came in next on the list, earning $46,000 a year with $76,000 in overtime. That totals $123,000.
Third on the list was a Wastewater Treatment Supervisor who more than doubled his $55,000 a year salary with $63,000 in OT.
The biggest surprise for 10 Investigates was a civilian police employee who earned six figures as an office assistant. The employee’s base salary was $46,000 per year plus $56,000 earned in OT.
Several Water Department excavator operators also earned six figures worth of overtime.
Two sewer and drain excavator operators earned more than $107,000 dollars each with overtime last year. A public utilities spokesman noted that drinking water, sanitary sewer, and electricity services - like police and fire - must be provided 24-7. In addition, he told us it's often cheaper to pay the overtime than hire additional employees.
Of the $27 million spent in OT last year, $19 million went to the Public Safety Department, including Police and Fire. Another $5 million went to the city utility workers.