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Local News

September 9, 2013

Oneonta's Police Department's 12-hour experiment to begin

(Continued)

Nayor said overtime covers a range of demands. Overtime applies not only when an officer stays beyond the end of a shift, he said, but also to work at special events, transport prisons, appear in court and to cover when colleagues call in sick.

A goal of the 12-hour shifts is that overtime would decrease.

“Overtime is something that we work very diligently to control,” Nayor said.

With almost 50 percent of the overtime budget remaining for this year, the department has done a good job managing overtime, he said, though autumn is among busiest times because students have returned for college. Remaining overtime funds are turned over to the city’s general fund, he said. 

PAY DIFFERENTIALS, OVERTIME

Under the eight-hour structure, officers worked one of three shifts — 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 4 p.m. to midnight’ or midnight to 8 a.m. Officers worked five days on, then had two days off, Brenner said.

Berger said under the 12-hour schedule, officers’ 84-hour pay period will include four hours of overtime. Under the current 80-hour pay period, officers generally accrue some overtime but it isn’t “automatic,” he said.

Shift-differential pay also has been adjusted so that officers working the 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. shift will receive an extra 75 cents an hour, Berger said. Under the current plan, the differential is 50 cents an hour for the 4 p.m. to midnight shift and 75 cents an hour for the midnight to 8 a.m. shift.

READY FOR THE EXPERIMENT

Union members approved trying the 12-hour shift schedule by a majority vote, Berger said. The city of Oneonta and the PBA must both be in favor of 12-hour shifts if the plan is to be made permanent, he said.

Nayor said the union feedback is important because officers’ attitudes toward the schedule impact their productivity and job satisfaction. Nayor said he hasn’t formed an opinion about the 12-hour shift.

“I’m really very neutral on it,” Nayor said. “I’m not an opponent. I’m not a proponent.”

The formal evaluation will begin about the end of November, Nayor said.

Officers prepared and were looking forward trying the 12-hour shift schedule, Berger said.

“We’re happy to be offered an option to do a trial period,” Berger said.

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