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July 12, 2012

Sanitation workers clean up with overtime pay

CLAREMORE — Some citizens are questioning  overtime for Claremore’s sanitation workers after recent budget reports showed a spike in the department’s payroll levels.

Overtime for 2011 exceeded $25,000 for management, not including other workers in the department.
Claremore’s sanitation department   is a six-day a week operation, according to city officials.
Due to a shortage of employees and equipment, overtime pay had reached higher levels than in previous years, according to officials
The numbers have had some city council members asking questions during recent meetings.
The council sought answers and  an explanation of the unusually high amounts.
Additionally, councilors asked for city management to find a solution for employee down time during trips to dump the trucks.
Sanitation managers Donald Burgess and Darryl Simon have been receiving the majority of the overtime pay.
Burgess and Simon have been working most Saturday’s to oversee the commercial pickup for  Claremore, according to city officials.
This is in addition to working a normally scheduled 40-hour week Monday thru Friday.
Between the two employees, more than $50,000 in overtime has been paid in the last two fiscal years.
In 2011, Burgess clocked 542 overtime hours and Simon reported 446 hours.
Burgess has claimed as much as 34 hours of overtime in a single pay period. This is in addition to the normal 80 hours he would have worked for the two weeks. This equaled approximately $1,000 in pay for that time period alone. High employee turnover may have played a role in the numbers, according to city officials.
Simon has claimed up to 29 hours in one pay period equaling an additional $748.42 for that two-week pay period.
The majority of the other sanitation department employees have not claimed more than 16 hours in one pay period.
The 16 hours would be appropriate for someone covering two additional Saturdays scheduled at eight hours per day.

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