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City opts to revert to old overtime rules

Jan. 18, 2012

New overtime rules limiting Department of Public Works overtime only to work over 40 hours in a week and dropping overtime premiums for work on holidays and weekends were scrapped by the Greenfield Common Council on Tuesday night, 17 days after they went into effect Jan. 1.

The council opted to revert to most of the old rules, which granted overtime after eight hours in one work day and counts vacation and personal time as hours worked. Workers will earn time-and-a-half pay for any hours beyond eight in a day and on holidays and weekends. Double-time on Sundays, as was offered under the old rules, was not restored.

The Finance and Human Resources Committee, which recommended going back to most of the old rules, agreed with Daniel Ewert, public works superintendent, who said the new more restrictive rules do more harm than good.

Ewert pleaded with the committee to restore at least some of the old overtime rules to show DPW workers who are called on to meet all kinds of emergencies that rules are not being implemented just because the city can.

Most of the overtime is paid for battling snowstorms, Ewert said, and overtime itself is less than 8 percent of the DPW payroll.

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