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Council worker paid €88k in overtime row

SOME council workers are doubling their salaries with over-time payments at one Dublin local authority.

Staff at Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council are earning tens of thousands of euro in over-time when the money could be used to simply hire more staff.

In one case, a person on a basic salary of €43,610 earned an extra €45,460, bringing earnings for the year to more than double their basic salary.

The figures were given to Cllr Gerry Horkan (FF) who says that the level of overtime is unacceptable and council chiefs need to review the situation.

"We are all examining how savings can be made and the council has to do this too. Maybe they need to cap overtime, spread the workload, maybe have a higher workload in winter and less work in summer or maybe they need to take on more staff," he said.

"In any climate this level of overtime payment wouldn't be justified but it is particularly the case now when 450,000 people are in some sort of unemployment assistance.

"The top overtime earner on this list is earning almost as much as a director of services."



Reduction

Cllr Horkan stressed that an "awful lot of people are taking pay cuts and working longer hours. The council needs to look at these practices".

The figures show that several council workers boosted their salaries by between 60pc and 90pc with overtime payments

One worker paid a basic salary of €44,185 earned an extra €38,927 in overtime payments while another on €51,407 earned an extra €37,158.

A fourth member of the council staff boosted his annual salary of €30,813 by a further €26,583 in extra payments.

Cllr Horkan says the increase in overtime was prompted by a reduction in staffing levels of 21pc, or 397 jobs, in 2010.

He has suggested that over-time means it is costing the taxpayer more than if the council employed more staff on basic salaries to do the work.

The council, however, has hit back saying it has cut overtime payments by 24pc in the four years between the beginning of 2008 and the end of last year.

"That reduction would possibly have been even greater had we not experienced the adverse weather conditions of the last two winters, when there was a perfectly justifiable expectation from the public that resources would be made available to deal with the roads and water crises," a spokesperson said.

csheehy@herald.ie


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