OSWEGO, NY – Councilors this week approved funds to cover overtime in the fire department. However, it was less than the chief had first asked for.
The Administrative Services Committee approved a request from Jeff McCrobie, fire chief, to make an intra-departmental transfer of funds from the following accounts:
$10,000 from A3410.0211 (ambulance equipment)
$1,000 from A3410.0410 (materials and supplies)
$6,000 from A3410.0440 (contracted services)
$40,000 from A3410.0101 (personal services)
All to A3410.0102 (personal services overtime).
These transfers are necessary to cover the short shift overtime for the department due to various injuries, illnesses, transfers and vacant positions.
“A few days ago we had a meeting with a variety of people and I appreciate the work everybody did on it,” the chief said referring to a workshop on how to alleviate the overtime issues in the fire department and other city departments as well. “We managed to dig through these accounts and made a few schedule adjustments here and there. We got together with the union and the mayor and everybody else. We’re going to move this money over and I think it’s going to work.”
Council President Ron Kaplewicz added his thanks to everyone involved in the meeting.
“It was a great meeting. We talked about an issue that is near and ear to all of us and that is how we can prevent some of the overtime,” he said. “It’s a credit to the chief, to the union, and to the city as well. What we really tried to do was find out why the increase was where it was and we all came to a better understanding of each of our roles and responsibilities in making that happen. Everybody’s taking appropriate actions to manage the amount of overtime.”
The chief’s original request was for $88,000 and this request is down to $57,000, Kaplewicz pointed out.
“It’s a significant reduction,” he said. “It’s going to be a sacrifice for everybody to make.”
Everybody there had something to add to the meeting, according to First Ward Councilor Connie Cosemento.
“Not only did we come to a temporary solution for this year, we also worked on a permanent fix that will have to be long-term,” she said.