Onondaga County is cracking down on employees who pile up overtime pay which ultimately push their pensions higher. Reducing these payments could save the county millions of dollars in the long run.
Ultimately, a resolution unanimously passed by the Onondaga County Legislature puts county department heads and employees on notice that stacking up overtime won’t be tolerated, according to Republican Pat Kilmartin.
“Whether that be in new procedures, new policies for allocating overtime; whether it be in new contracts that will be negotiated, the legislature is going to keep a very close eye on these items to try to eliminate the stacking of overtime because that will reduce the cost of pension benefits to the taxpayer,” Kilmartin said.
Democrat Mark Stanczyk says ultimately the overtime abuse needs to be handled on the state level because it’s the state that makes the pension rules that apply here.
“I think the state is going to get to the point where they say our pensions are just going to be based on base pay. If you want to work overtime that’s fine, make the extra money, that’s good, but your pension should only be based on your base pay,” Stanczyk said.
Kilmartin says the County Comptroller reports hundreds of county employees stack overtime every year, mostly in the sheriff’s and transportation departments. So he figures savings could be in the tens of millions of dollars to taxpayers.