GETTING RESULTS: New Rochelle School District Revises Overtime Policy, Places Strict Limits to Prevent Abuse

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GETTING RESULTS: New Rochelle School District Revises Overtime Policy, Places Strict Limits to Prevent Abuse

April 16, 2014 - 20:56

NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The City School District of New Rochelle has significantly revised its policy regarding overtime work for employees in the Buildings & Grounds Department.

In a memo dated April 14, 2014,John Gallagher, Director of Environmental Services has announced to all Plant Supervisors, Custodians, Assistant Custodians, Foremen and Maintenance Mechanics that all overtime must be approved prior by the Environmental Services Department and Central Administration. Emphasis added.

Gallagher OT Memo here.

District policy has always required prior approval to work overtime but the policy was only loosely enforced by Gallagher and his boss Assistant Superintendent for Business & Administration John Quinn.

The change is that over time requests must now be approved by Assistant to the Superintendent Joe Williams, the human resources Director for the District, who has been directed to deny all requests for overtime for the foreseeable future.

This decision came after a review of recent overtime records related to snow removal which indicated an unwarranted amount over time. The period reviewed covered January 19 through February 23, 2014.

Weekly time sheets for Buildings and Grounds employees, obtained under a Freedom of Information request, showed unusually large and seemingly unjustified amounts of over time including days when schools were open or on vacation.

In addition to weather-related overtime claims by district employees, large amounts of overtime were accrued for work such as turning on the heat in buildings each morning and taking delivery of salt at odd hours such as 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning.

In just one month this winter, two particular employees claimed, respectively, 178 hours of overtime (Phil Rosetti) and 183 hours of overtime (Jimmy Bonanno, Sr.). Both sets of time sheets bore the signature of John Gallagher.

Still not explained is why Gallagher signed time sheets with claims for overtime that defy logic and the limits of human endurance.

Bonanno has been the subjects articles in the Journal News based on the large amounts of overtime he claims each year.