Evanston overtime costs rise in 2014

Julia Jacobs, Assistant City Editor

The city paid its employees more than $1 million more in 2014 for working overtime than it did the previous year.

The higher costs are mostly due to last year’s extreme weather, which required employees to work extra hours, city manager Wally Bobkiewicz said in a memo to city staff. The city spent $3.3 million in overtime payments in 2014 and $2.2 million in 2013.

“It is important to ensure that City services are being responsibly delivered to Evanston residents without compromising quality for timeliness,” Bobkiewicz said in the memo.

Public works employees worked 12-hour shifts to monitor the snowfall and below-zero temperatures, and utilities employees helped with street cleaning and repairing water mains, he said. Overtime for the public works and utilities departments accounted for about 41 percent of the total costs.

Bobkiewicz said the $3.3 million total includes compensating police officers who work overtime in place of those on leave for on-the-job injuries and illnesses, as well as due to the Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows employees to take off work for some family and medical obligations. Fire and police department employees are also paid overtime for work training.

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