Town changes office hours to reduce overtime pay
| Posted: Wednesday, Jan 09, 2013 10:38 am
Closing Black Diamond’s town office half an hour earlier is expected to be a minor inconvenience that will save taxpayers a few dollars.
Black Diamond chief administrative officer Joanne Irwin asked council at its December meeting to close the office at 4 p.m. in 2013 to eliminate paying overtime to employees who have been dealing with the public beyond 4:30 p.m., the time they are expected to clock out.
Irwin said she had been debated the suggestion for about six months and is glad to see council approve her request.
“Quite often what you find is if someone comes in at 4:25 p.m. and are looking for a gas or electrical permit that takes 10 to 15 minutes to process,” she said. “That employee then has to stay until 5 p.m. to deal with that person and close the cash (register).”
Irwin said the change in hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. effective Feb. 4 will be a cost savings to the Town.
“When you look at what it could cost the taxpayers to keep these people half an hour and pay them overtime it just made a lot of sense,” she said, adding she hasn’t calculated what the savings would be.
Before bringing the suggestion to council, Irwin and other office staff monitored how often the public accessed the building between 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. and found that it was minimal and expect the change to have little impact on the public.
“Now if somebody comes in at five to 4 p.m. it’s not a big deal,” she said. “That gives the receptionist the ability to deal with that person and not have a sense of urgency and still be able to close down the cash and lock up the files.”
Residents who pay their taxes and utilities at the town office also have the option of using the drop box near the front door, paying through their bank, paying online or having the money automatically debited from their bank account, said Irwin.