Mayor Daryl Finizio signed his seventh executive order this morning, saying compensatory time for non-union employees will no longer be approved.
The order revises the practice of reimbursing employees who work beyond their normal hours. Under compensatory time, employees may work shorter days and use accrued hours to receive pay for a full day’s work. However, employees may also cash out compensatory time hours upon retirement.
The order includes department heads and replaces compensatory time with flex time, which does not create payments beyond normal salaries and must be used within a pay period. Non-exempt employees may be paid overtime or use flex time at the discretion of Finizio and Chief Administrative Officer Jane Glover.
Employees must use compensatory time currently earned as flex time by the end of the fiscal year on June 30 or it will be forfeited. Finizio said the order does not retroactively affect compensatory time earned, but that employees are being encouraged to use such time to take shorter days rather than payouts.
The order also sets rules on leave and employee training. One section of the order says employees should follow “appropriate contractual language and the personnel policies regarding use of leave, including business union leave.”
Training is limited to locations within the state, and employees wishing to take training outside of Connecticut must receive approval from Finizio and Glover and pay all travel and housing costs related to the trip. If a training is mandatory and not available in Connecticut, Finizio and Glover may reimburse travel and housing costs.
Finizio said the goal of the order, along with recent actions such as an executive order on event costs and a tentative agreement with the police union, is to generate future savings and ensure that the city does not run a deficit in the 2013 fiscal year due to a . He estimated that the order on compensatory time will save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, but that this will not result in a direct reduction of the approved budget or tax rate for this year.
“It’s always hard to calculate, because it’s a moving target,” Finizio said of the compensatory time savings.
Finizio said he consulted with Glover, members of the City Council, department heads, and the Personnel and Law Departments for input on the order. He said the mayor’s office has been working by the order’s guidelines, since his staff has not earned compensatory time and he paid out of pocket for a .
Compensatory time was a subject of dispute in a but not enacted. The retirement would have paid Ackley for over 2,000 hours of accrued compensatory time, at a payout of between $169,917.21 and $199,508.14. Finizio later proposed an employment contract and settlement that would have , but both measures were .
Finizio said department heads are continuing to analyze their budgets for further savings in order to operate within their budgets, including revisions to standard operating procedures. He said these changes should be finalized within the next few weeks.