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Officers file grievance seeking overtime pay

Union also is aiming for shift-differential pay

Posted: Sunday, February 06, 2005

Claiming patrol officers on eight-hour shifts are entitled to overtime pay if they work more than eight hours in a day, the Public Safety Employees Association has filed a grievance with the Juneau police administration.

The grievance, hand-delivered to Chief Richard Gummow's office Thursday, is the latest action stemming from the department's recent change in police shifts, requiring officers to work eight-hour shifts. Before the change in January, officers worked 12-hour shifts.

As public safety officers, their overtime was calculated according to the hours they put in throughout a month, PSEA local shop Vice President Paul Comolli said. He said the officers agreed they would qualify for overtime after working 171 hours in a month.

"The federal guidelines have never been incorporated into our agreement," he said.

So when the department put patrol officers, currently numbering 28, on eight-hour shifts, despite employee opposition, they were put under the same rules as other city employees who work eight-hour shifts.

That makes them entitled to overtime after working eight hours a day and 40 hours a week, he said.

"We want to hold them to their own rules," Comolli said.

Assistant Police Chief Greg Browning said the department is not prepared to comment on the grievance. He said administrative meetings to discuss the issues are scheduled for this week.

Comolli said officers also have filed a grievance looking for shift differential pay, with officers getting more for working swing and graveyard shifts - the two shifts that follow the day shift.

Ultimately, the issue could go to arbitration, Comolli said.

• Tony Carroll can be reached at tony.carroll@juneauempire.com.



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