VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Over $800,000 a year — that’s how much the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says Transit Police are getting paid for hours they aren’t working.
Jordan Bateman with the Federation is taking a week-long look at the results of a TransLink audit and his organization’s Freedom of Information requests.
He claims TransLink staff have the option of working extra time each day, and then receiving a day off in lieu.
“What’s happening with the Transit Police, according to the audit, is that they get the benefit of the short work week, ie. they get paid for work they aren’t working but they aren’t actually working anything extra,” explains Bateman.
“I can’t believe this is something that hasn’t been ironed out in previous contract negotiations,” he adds. “I know the Transit Police contract is up now and definitely this should be looked at as a possible cost reduction. There’s no way we should be paying people for not working.”
Bateman says it works out to about $5,000 per Transit Police officer or over 11 shifts a year where they get paid without putting in the hours.
He says this extra money, plus getting paid more to work on Sundays and high overtime rates, ends up being $2.4 million or 10 per cent of the total Transit Police budget.
News1130 received the following statement from Transit Police on May 30th, 2012:
The Reduced Work Week Leave Bank (RWWL) does exist and was a part of the Translink contract that was negotiated in 2005.
When this contract was negotiated in 2005, it was negotiated for all Translink employees at the same time, both sworn and civilian, including the newly formed Transit Police.There were no separate negotiations for the police.
The current administration of the Transit Police, none of whom were members of the administration in 2005, has inherited this agreement and is bound by the terms negotiated at that time.
This contract expired last year and negotiations are currently underway on a new contract.
The current administration regognizes that there are serious salary issues in the existing contract concerning, overtime, shifting, RWWL, Sunday premiums etc. and will be working closely with Translink and the Union to improve in the problem areas and hopefully come up with a satisfactory result for all parties.