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Independence City Manager: proposal to change overtime policy should be 'tabled indefinitely'

Stock Independence City Hall 2
Posted at 4:40 PM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 19:44:46-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — City leaders in Independence want to change the way overtime is calculated.

It comes after the KSHB 41 I-Team first exposed one police officer made more than $160,000 in overtime for non-police related work last year.

City Manager Zach Walker added a resolution to Tuesday's council agenda that would help to crack down on overtime.

Over the weekend, Walker sent an email to city council members and the mayor telling them the idea should be tabled indefinitely.

Walker gave several reasons including that overtime is far more complex in 24/7 operations than traditional businesses. The city manager also said he doesn't believe this is the appropriate time or process for city council consideration.

Walker mentioned many factors are involved with an overtime policy like negotiated labor agreements with the union. He said if the overtime policy were to be amended, it should be done on a case-by-case basis with each labor group.

The I-Team found out the city's overtime policy is based on total hours worked including paid time off. The city manager's office wanted to change it to hours worked, meaning you would need to work 40 hours before overtime kicked in.

The move could have saved the city potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The city manager said seven unions would have to agree and approve any changes to the overtime policy.

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