Tuesday’s Audit Committee report on Employee Absences and Overtime showed that overtime use at the City of Edmonton has increased since 2018 and that more controls need to be put in place to monitor and report the use of overtime across the organization.
While overtime is necessary to deliver the essential services that our members provide for all Edmontonians, excessive overtime can be a drain on our members’ mental and physical health, can create stress in the workplace, and obviously have negative effects on members’ work/life balance.
CECU supports recommendations that call for increased reporting and educating work areas about overtime requirements. In addition to that, controls that raise a flag whenever a significant amount of overtime is accrued (for individuals and work areas) would be an asset as well.
In addition to this increased reporting and educating, Administration and Council should ensure that staffing levels are adequate to meet the work demand (because a sufficient complement of staff helps to control excessive overtime). If it’s found that a work area is consistently requiring significant overtime from our members, the City should look to hire more staff to offset this work. This will require understanding from both Administration and Council (who may have to approve budget adjustments to meet demands).
As Unions, we are invested in improving our members experience in the workplace, advocating for their mental and physical wellbeing, and helping them maintain a healthy work/life balance. We firmly believe that by investing more in frontline staff, you will have less overtime which is good for the City, good for our members, and good for Edmontonians.