Top-Paid Public Workers and Overtime Abuse

Reader comment on: Santa Monica Police Pay

Submitted by Marty Murphy (United States), Dec 14, 2013 11:12

It is a mistake to assume that a public employee who 'earns' an enormous amount in overtime is somehow deceiving the public. You'll never be able to prove that the employee did not put in the hour on the job. The people who are involved in the fraud include the empoyee's supervisor, who approves the overtime, and any union representative, who monitors overtime. And, of course, the political leaders who allow the practice -- in return for political support.

It is a regular and usual for workers in public service who are ready to retire to load up on overtime in the final year in order to sweeten his/her pension. This requires the cooperation of that person's supervisor -- who must approve the overtime -- and the local union rep -- whose responsibility it is to make sure all overtime is spread around to all union members. Of course, their 'cooperation' is paid for with the excess salary that the retiring employee earns in the form of cash kick-backs. The employee is rewarded for his extra hours (usually sleeping in a backroom or doing less-demanding work) with his exploded pension.

The taxpayers get it in the neck.

The solution is (1) to limit pension calculations to regular salary over several years, (2) discipline supervisors who sign for excess overtime, (3) tell union members that their rep is screwing them out of their share of overtime and (4) demand better from their political leaders.

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