In a move to save overtime costs and comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act, New Franklin City Council approved a resolution to convert four employees from hourly, non exempt status to salaried employees, effective immediately.
"We have been trying to make this change for five years," said New Franklin Mayor Al Bollas.
The jobs that will now be non-bargaining unit positions and salaried are fire chief, police chief, assistant fire chief and deputy service director.
"In some instances, the employee received a increase in pay, and in other instances an employee received a decrease in pay," Bollas said.
The change was made possible because the duties of these positions meet the criteria of the Executive Employee or other exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Another position to be changed from hourly to salary is that of police captain, but that job is not filled.
City council approved the resolution by a vote of 5 to 1, with Councilman Terry Harget voting no.
Bollas commissioned a report from Kastner, Westman and Wilkins to review and analyze the job duties and compensation of the positions.
New Franklin Police Chief Dan Davidson will now receive a base annual salary of $76,000, a decrease from the previous hourly compensation of $81,000. New Franklin Fire Chief Steve Leslie will receive a base salary of $76,000, an increase from his past hourly compensation of $74,586. Assistant Fire Chief Tim Young will receive a base annual salary of $70,000, down from his past hourly compensation of $70,415.12.
The police chief, fire chief and assistant fire chief will no longer receive overtime compensation, compensatory time, holiday bonus pay, sick leave incentive, other Ohio Patrolmen Benevolent Association benefits.
These three employees will receive annual uniform allowance and boot reimbursement equal to that paid to International Association of Firefighters represented firefighters; longevity pay in accordance with the current personnel, policies and procedures manual; ability to sell vacation and holidays not to exceed 144 hours per year in accordance with current practices. The employees will also receive accrual of sick, vacation, personal and holiday leaves in accordance with current policy; a four percent OP & F pick-up and salary reduction and other benefits as provided to the non-bargaining unit employees.
New Franklin Safety Service Director Jeff Olson will now receive an annual salary of $76,000, down from $79,503. Bollas noted that Olson did have overtime hours in the past as an hourly employee. Olson oversees the Road Supervisor Brian Kepler, road department employees and a seasonal employee to help with the park upkeep in the summer.
"You don’t do overtime on your highest paid person, you give it on your lowest hourly paid employee," Bollas said.
He added that Olson earned $6,215 in overtime, as compared to $1,900 in overtime to Kepler in 2015.
"I think it is a fair way to handle these four positions as salaried," Bollas said.
Councilman Harry Gehm said he believes a salaried employee should always be willing to work as many hours as the job takes.
Olson will no longer receive overtime compensation; compensatory time; holiday bonus pay for working on designated holidays; sick leave incentive; drug testing administrative fee; other Teamster negotiated benefits. He will receive uniform rental paid by the city; boot reimbursement equal to that paid to Teamsters employees; longevity pay; ability to sell vacation and holidays; accrual of sick, vacation, personal and holiday leaves and other benefits as provided to non-bargaining unit employees.
All four employees will continue to receive health insurance benefits and other benefits provided to non-bargaining unit employees.