Board Agrees Upon Compensation Rule
Wetzel County Board of Education Treasurer Jeff Lancaster gave a report at the March 4 board meeting on overtime compensation, specifically, the county’s “call-out” procedures.
“What happened is that I noticed that we weren’t consistent throughout service personnel classification on how we compensate if a employee was called out to work,” Lancaster explained. “What was happening was we would call out a maintenance person, and it would take less than half an hour, but we were paying 3.5 hours of overtime.” Lancaster stated that he had been told differently by some mechanics, that they do not get paid 3.5 hours of overtime.
“I’m at a loss to what I’m supposed to do . . . I have some service personnel getting 3.5 for every call-out. I have others who are not doing that, who are just turning in time for time.” Lancaster added, “There’s this confusion with Saturdays and Sundays. State code says that on these days, if service personnel works five minutes they are to get paid half a day or a full day. That’s where that 3.5 hours could possibly come in. I thought that maybe we were treating weekdays as weekends.”
“The first thing I did was sent out an e-mail saying we were going to hour for hour on weekdays,” Lancaster stated. “I was met with some resistance on this. I understand this, that they don’t want hour upon hour for just a quick job, coming in.”
“I just needed to be consistent,” he added. “I also checked with other counties. I got a response from eight of them.”
Lancaster discovered the following for each of the eight counties: Putnam county, employees are given a minimum of two hours for every call-out; Wirt, actual time during weekdays; Tyler, actual time; Marshall, actual time; Upshur, actual time; Wood, four hours minimum; Doddridge, actual time; and Mineral, two hours.
“What I want to come out of here with is a set of procedures,” Lancaster added. “If it is actual time, I’m fine with that. I have to have something. If I would have procedures in place, I wouldn’t be in this ‘mess’ . . . It’s not that, but it didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped.”
Lancaster explained that after researching online, he found several policies and found that two hours is pretty common. “I think this is the procedure that I want to institute.”
Lancaster also added that some of the issue has been addressed; for instance, if there is an alarm issue, “We are going to choose a non-exempt employee, such as Mr. Jones (Director of Ancillary Services Brian Jones).
Board Vice President Bob Patterson agreed with the two-hour proposal, stating that the industrial standard is two hours.
“The long story short is that it’s just a discovery we happened to find,” stated Superintendent Diane Watt. “We just wanted to get a normal procedure. We really talked about it to see how equitable we could be. In reality, it’s generally a maintenance person called out in the middle of the night, doing a yucky job. We thought two was good. We wanted to be consistent across the board.”
Board members appeared to approve of the matter; it was determined that a formal policy would not be drafted. “This is theoretically . . . You can do this by yourself, but you are just giving us a heads-up as a courtesy,” President Mike Blair agreed.
In another matter a closed transfer hearing was held for Rebecca K. Goff. She was a full-time employee on the Transfer and Subsequent Assignment List for the 2013-2014 School Year that was approved at that meeting.