City employees kept in dark about overtime opportuniites
by Nelson Flores
Nov 07, 2018 | 8083 views | 0 0 comments | 640 640 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After 31 years working as a proud New York City civil servant, I have noticed that our current municipal workforce is often unaware of some of the most basic policies that have been put in place over the decades to protect public workers from the capricious winds of politics and nepotism.

That gap in knowledge is compounded by the lack of a grasp of how government works. These basics in civics were taught in our public schools just a generation ago. We can't always rely on our union representation to fill in these gaps.

Case in point would be Mayoral Executive Order 94-3

The Mayor of the City of New York as the city's chief executive office has the authority to issue orders to the executive branch, agencies, offices, divisions, and bureaus.

Generally, these orders are concerning the implementation of laws and/or mayoral policies. The Mayoral Executive Orders may be amended, modified, or repealed by subsequent orders.

Mayoral Executive Order 94-3 is a directive to all city agency heads implemented in 1994 by then-mayor Rudy Guiliani concerning overtime reporting and monitoring. To this day many, if not all, agency heads have failed to provide their employees a copy of this directive.

The purpose is to provide city employees their fair and equitable amounts of overtime and to curb the abuse of overtime. However, these abuses flourish as a result of management's failure to properly inform its employees of these executive orders.

As a consequence, they continue to circumvent the orders, which require the equitable assignment of overtime as legally required by these long-standing orders that remain on the books to this very day.

Mayoral Executive order 94-3 explicitly states "agency heads shall personally review the top earners in their agency at least quarterly to ensure that overtime is being distributed equitably and to avoid potential abuse."

Section 9 of this order explicitly states "agency heads shall issue immediately a notification to staff to ensure that they are aware of these overtime guidelines and that overtime control is a major concern of the administration."

Despite this order of instruction, the on-the-ground reality is none of these mayoral directives are being followed. These rules are there to protect us and when they are respected they serve as a foundation for integrity and equity in the public work place.

Nelson M. Flores is a retired New York City civil servant.
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