Vernon spent almost $1M on overtime last year | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon News

Vernon spent almost $1M on overtime last year

The City of Vernon spent close to $1 million last year on overtime.

A staff report to council shows departments at city hall, including Vernon Fire Rescue Service and the RCMP, clocked up $928,413 in overtime pay.

While high, the number is actually lower than in 2021 when the City spent $1.1 million on overtime – largely due to the White Rock Lake fire, although the bill for fighting the fire was covered by the province.

The report states RCMP Support Services, Fire Rescue Services and Recreation Services regularly schedule staff to work overtime to allow them to provide services to the public seven days a week.

In total Vernon spent $220,753 on firefighting, up 23 per cent from the $179,028 in 2021.

The report says the increase is due to long-term leaves which resulted in minimum manning requirements. It also says some training sessions require paid overtime in order to train firefighters.

While overtime increased, Vernon Fire Rescue says its actual expenditures for wages were $5,667,304, below budgeted $6,276,543 for 2022.

The RCMP spent $40,727 on overtime, up 54 per cent from the $26,380 it spent in 2021. The report says part of this increase came from staff shortages for RCMP support services staff.

The report also blames staff shortages for the increased overtime costs for the financial services department which clocked up $13,660 in overtime.

Early snowfall in 2022 led to $43,270 of overtime being paid out to city crews, while the City's sewage department saw a decrease of $25,701 in its overtime pay.

The Vernon rec centre pool spent almost $12,000 on overtime, a 34 per cent increase from the $8,800 it spent in 2021. Again, the City blames staff shortages.

The City's website shows nine job vacancies currently open and 30 recently closed vacancies now in the screening process.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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