A while back, Chico Police Officer’s Association president Will Clark complained that the police department is not getting enough overtime. Not only did he want more structured overtime written into the budget, but he claimed that Chico PD officers had been ripped off “between $30,000-$60,000” in overtime they were actually owed.
“Structured overtime” means police, and fire department employees, are GUARANTEED a certain amount of overtime. See, in the private sector, we call it “swing shift” and “graveyard” – I’ve worked both, by the way. But at the police and fire departments, it’s called “overtime.” These guys are scheduled for a minimum of two hours of overtime PER DAY. That’s how they spike those $60,000 agreed-upon salaries to $120,000. Their pensions are based on 90 percent of their highest years’ pay, and I don’t care what they tell you – ask a lawyer – the overtime is included in the calculations. Meaning, a $70,000 a year cop retires at $100,000 a year, happens all the time.
Will Clark said we need MORE structured overtime in the budget – he claims, as have many chiefs in past, that OVERTIME IS CHEAPER THAN HIRING MORE OFFICERS. He won’t talk about the statistics regarding overtime and injuries, or the fact that the department has been over budget on workman’s comp for, what, is it two years in a row now or THREE?
This whole concept of writing overtime into your budget just floors me. In the private industry, employees are required to have permission before taking overtime, and then it’s disputable. Down at the cop shop, it’s GUARANTEED!?!
Well, according to the city attorney, Little Lori “Butter Wouldn’t Melt in My Mouth” Barker, Clark’s claims that cops have been ripped off for overtime are UNTRUE, and the CPOA’s own lawyer “has agreed with
us that no officers were underpaid.”
But, in the article run in the ER the other day, Clark mentions he’s “glad the city corrected the way they are calculating overtime” …Well, really? And just how is that? Will the public be in on this “calculation correction”? And what will it mean financially to the city?
Something stinks here.