04/15/13 — EMS overtime to get look

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EMS overtime to get look

By Steve Herring
Published in News on April 15, 2013 1:46 PM

Salary overpayments totaling $177,062 to employees in the Wayne County Office of Emergency Services accounted for 85 percent of the $207,722 in overpayments made in the county's 2012 payroll.

Most of the blame for the overpayments has been placed on the fluctuating work week -- a complicated system used to calculate overtime and as the result of the county's switch last July to a new payroll system.

The new system consistently resulted in over and underpayments to some employees. It was scrapped by the new board when it took power in December in favor of a return to the old payroll system.

In October, the previous board of commissioners voted to replace the fluctuating work week with the traditional time and a half overtime.

That action was among the first items overturned when the new board took office in December. The board agreed at that time to revisit overtime pay at a later date.

The underpayments have been corrected, but the county has yet to decide how and if the overpayments in salaries will be repaid by employees.

Of the $177,062 overpaid in the Office of Emergency Services, 74 percent was made to employees in that office's emergency medical services division.

Overpayments in the health department was a distant second at $13,654 or 6.5 percent.

The remaining totals were: Department of Social Services, $6,671; Solid Waste, $5,394; and Animal Control, $4,942.

Wayne County commissioners on Tuesday morning will be briefed on these overpayments. They will follow up their regular session Tuesday afternoon with a work session on overtime pay in emergency services

The meeting will get under way with an 8 a.m. agenda briefing. Commissioners will be sworn in as the Board of Equalization and Review at 8:30 a.m. The Board of Equalization and Review is charged with hearing property tax appeals. The meeting will be used to schedule the 2013 hearings.

Commissioners' regular meeting will start at 9 a.m. The sessions will be held in the commissioners' meeting room on the fourth floor of the county courthouse annex.

The workshop will come at the end of the regular session.

Commissioners were to have addressed overtime payroll issues in the Office of Emergency Services at their April 2 session. The board instead approved a motion by Commissioner Ray Mayo to table the issue until April 16 to ensure the county had enough payroll data to make a "more accurate decision."