This goes in the category of ‘Who didn’t see this coming?’ A Clark County Nevada commissioner is calling for a criminal investigation into possible abuse of the sick leave and overtime systems by firefighters. This on the heals of an arbitrator chose Clark County’s new contract deal over IAFF Local 1908′s version which calls for a reduction of pay and benefits of 5.5 percent. Clark County is the home of the City of Las Vegas.
The arbitrator, Norman Brand, pointed out several reasons for his decision to side with the county. While some is related to the fall of county revenue and property values outside of Las Vegas, he made it a point to single out an example of sick leave abuse. Mr. Brand told the media how one firefighter took 48 days of sick leave working only 63 of his 121 shift days, but worked 92 shifts of overtime or callback pay to bring his annual pay to $232,187 before benefits.
This is a perfect example of how a single firefighter’s actions can affect the entire department. We fault management for not dealing with the obvious sick leave abuse. Clark County uses Telestaff, a fire services staffing software package, that easily produces reports to show those who utilize the most sick leave and those who are scheduled for the most overtime.
You can read more into the contract decisions in Sunday’s Las Vegas Journal.