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Re: Epps 'appalled' at OT, vows to correct it
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How much of this is janitors working very hard and getting overtime and how much is just cooking books to get more cash?

The article makes it sound like Keating gets 50k/year salary and *in addition* to this he made 163k in overtime over two years which averages to $131,500/year. This sounds excessive to me.

Posted on: 2006/12/20 15:39
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Re: Epps 'appalled' at OT, vows to correct it
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I heard that Epps is looking to take on a third job since the pay for maintenance workers is so good.

Posted on: 2006/12/20 15:36
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Re: Epps 'appalled' at OT, vows to correct it
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ALL EYES ON OVERTIME
District plan: Closely monitor maintenance workers' hours
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
By JARRETT RENSHAW
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

The Jersey City School Distric yesterday laid out its plans to curtail millions of dollars in overtime from the maintenance department following a blistering state audit that raised questions about the validity of the overtime as well as the district's apparent lack of oversight.

The overtime audit, released in October, was performed after the state noticed a $2.1 million spike in overtime pay in the district's maintenance department between the 2004-05 and 2005-06 school years. Overall, overtime pay went from $5.2 million to $7.4 million.

For example, Kristopher Keating, a high school custodian who is paid roughly $50,000 annually, netted more than $163,000 in overtime during the past two years, while another custodian, Ben Smith, netted roughly $93,959 in overtime during last year alone. The two employees ranked as the two biggest overtime earners in the state report.

Following the release of the audit, the district had 60 days to come up with what is called a corrective action plan to address the questions raised in the state report. The district plan was laid out yesterday during a finance committee meeting, and the school board is expected to approve the plan at tomorrow night's board meeting.

"I welcome audits. Though we were disappointed with the report, we attacked this head on," school board chairman William DeRosa said. "If these are the only problems, then I am happy."

School District Superintendent Charles T. Epps Jr. called the details of the report "appalling."

The state report highlighted one employee who was paid for 80 consecutive hours of overtime and another who was paid for working five 20-hour days in a row. The overtime records showed no breaks for lunch or sleep and the report labeled it and a number of other similar instances as "unrealistic" and/or "excessive."

The state report showed much of the overtime was taken without the required approval of supervisors in the district. In a test sample of 16 employees' overtime records, state auditors found that 284 of 381 - or 75 percent - lacked the required approval from a supervisor.

The district will require all maintenance employees to seek written approval from supervisors before working overtime. The written request must include a listing of the tasks expected to be completed.

The district also hopes to have an automated system in place by March that will include multiple levels of approval. In addition, maintenance employees will be forced to call in and out using district phones - equipped with caller ID - to help properly document the time worked.

One board member expressed frustration at what she says is the lack of action taken by the administration.

"We come in here and talk a lot about plans, but I am not confident that they are going to be implemented," said school board member Suzanne Mack.

Posted on: 2006/12/20 15:27
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Re: Epps 'appalled' at OT, vows to correct it
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The JJ article conveniently compares the pay a head custodian makes in 2 years vs the pay the superintendent makes in 1 year. We're to then believe that the pay is unreasonable, because they are similar.

Why shouldn't the head custodian make half as much as the superintendent, if the head custodian really is working a lot of overtime? Is the superintendent even competent, considering the apparent mismanagement?

Where is the allegation that they weren't doing required work during that time?

A different article says "In addition, Epps said, the state has cut its number of maintenance employees while increasing the requirements for the number of maintenance staff needed per square foot. "

Every indication is that there is legitimate work that needs to be done. Any error is in cutting staffing to "save" money, resulting in higher overtime costs.

If overtime is being worked without supervisor's approval repeatedly, then it has their approval. It might be outside some written procedure, but is it likely that the JC government has really managed to make actually functional overtime procedures for employees?

Posted on: 2006/12/19 16:46
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Re: Epps 'appalled' at OT, vows to correct it
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In case anyone is in the dark, here is the JJ article:

http://www.nj.com/news/jjournal/index ... 66425057228900.xml&coll=3

Posted on: 2006/12/19 14:50
"Someday a book will be written on how this city can be broke in the midst of all this development." ---Brewster

Oh, wait, there is one: The Jersey Sting.
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Re: Epps 'appalled' at OT, vows to correct it
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Their lack of oversight is criminal.

School board members responsible:

William DeRosa, Chairperson
Franklin L. Williams, Vice Chairperson
Ed Cheatam
Anthony Cruz
Anthony R. Cucci
Dr. Peter J. Donnelly
Jeffrey Dublin
Suzanne T. Mack
Angel L. Valentin

Posted on: 2006/12/19 3:08
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Epps 'appalled' at OT, vows to correct it
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Epps 'appalled' at OT, vows to correct it
Monday, December 18, 2006
By JARRETT RENSHAW
JERSEY JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

Jersey City School Superintendent called a state audit of maintenance overtime "appalling," while vowing to correct the problem.

"I welcome the audit. That's what it's for," said Epps, adding "we are going to correct it" - though he wouldn't say how.

When asked how he would justify the lucrative overtime to teachers, Epps replied: "I don't have to justify it to teachers. They appreciate the warm buildings, the clean floors and the snow shoveled."

The employees work hard and are often called into work for emergencies, Epps said.

"We have people at our buildings 24 hours a day," he said.

In addition, Epps said, the state has cut its number of maintenance employees while increasing the requirements for the number of maintenance staff needed per square foot.

Epps said his staff would look at the records and, if any of the overtime claims are fraudulent, turn over the necessary information to the proper authorities - though he added it's "not likely."

Posted on: 2006/12/18 17:47
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