District of Squamish paid about $414,000 in overtime last year | Squamish Chief

District of Squamish paid about $414,000 in overtime last year

See which departments paid the most money

The Top 4 District departments that cost taxpayers the most overtime pay in 2018 are — from highest to lowest — public works, fire services, facilities and planning and building services.

Freedom of Information documents obtained by The Chief show the municipality paid out about $414,000 in overtime for 2018.

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With respect to public works, which cost the most in overtime, the District says that it's an unavoidable necessity due to unplanned emergency work.

Spokesperson Christina Moore said that watermain breaks or weather-related responses such as flood protection or wind control are some examples.

Community growth was the main culprit behind overtime spending for the fire department, and Moore said that a new captain position was hired to allow Squamish Fire Rescue to move to a two-shift system.

Facilities, the third costliest, had challenges with staff vacancies, as other staff were called upon to fill in the gaps, Moore said.

Finally, planning and building services, the fourth costliest, is subject to after-hours meetings. This could take the form of council meetings or developer-hosted public information sessions.

Moore said that the District keeps an eye on overtime levels.

"Trends in overtime levels from year-to-year are looked at in order to remove any anomalies that may have been an isolated situation (e.g. illness or vacancies in positions)," she wrote in an emailed statement.

"New staffing positions are proposed as required to support life safety, strategic plan priorities, master plan recommendations, risk, growth and other important criteria."

The Chief has compiled the overtime pay breakdowns of each department into several graphs.

For the most part, the labels are self-explanatory, though with respect to planning, "exempt" refers to overtime calculated for non-union members of the department.

District of Squamish paid about $414,000 in overtime last year_0

-With files from Jennifer Thuncher

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