Hourly employees dip

CITY HALL — The number of full-time hourly city employees has been significantly reduced in recent years, according to a recent report to the Civil Service Commission.

City officials in recent years have worked to reduce the numbers of full-time or near-full-time hourly slots in favor of salaried positions. Under the city’s Charter, hourly employees do not receive Civil Service protections.

“It just wasn’t fair,” said Civil Service Commissioner John Gantus, who said hourly positions should be for seasonal or part-time employment.

The commission in 2005 oversaw the conversion of select hourly positions and established a mandatory cap of 1,250 hours annually for hourly employees.

“The idea is if there is regular work necessary for someone to work full-time hours year after year, that ought to be a full-time salaried position,” said Human Resources Director Matt Doyle.

Six months into the current fiscal year, no employees have exceeded the limit, Doyle told the Civil Service Commission last week. In previous years, a handful of employees had already reached the 1,250-hour mark for the same period.

“The true measure of success of this policy is to see where we are at the end of this fiscal year,” Doyle said. “But as of this point, we have none that have reached that threshold.”

Other internal controls include an administrative policy governing hourly employment and a regular report notifying city departments of employees who are nearing their cap.

Gantus, who served on the commission when the initial controls were implemented, said he was happy to see the significant improvement.

“They are paying much more attention to what positions they need and don’t need,” he said. “If you are going to be full time, then you need to be full time.”

He added that it was “very fulfilling” to see the conversion of employees from hourly to salaried, especially because many had been serving in an hourly capacity for years.

At the meeting, Chairman Roy Coleman directed city officials to provide updates on the number of hourly employees working significant hours and for how long so commissioners could continue to monitor the situation.

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