Who's raking in overtime at Lee County Schools?
Bus drivers making between $15-20K in OT
Fox 4 uncovering top 10 employees making the most in overtime have something in common. Video by fox4now.comvideo
FORT MYERS, Fla. - When it comes to the Lee County School District who's raking in the overtime?
Through a public records request, Fox 4 has learned eight of the top ten employees making the most in overtime are school bus drivers.
Two of thsoe bus drivers racked up nearly 700 hours of overtime, making more than $19,000 on top of their annual salary during the 2010-2011 school year..
A list of the top 10 employees making the most in overtime last year shows the employees made between $15,000 and $20,000.
"That is a waste of taxpayer money point blank," said Lee County school board member Don Armstrong.
The other two employees on the list were after school program directors, making around $15,000 in overtime.
We showed the list to Armstrong who called the overtime "unacceptable."
"We can come up with different ways to spend that money," said Armstrong, "besides out that tailpipe."
With the district facing millions in budget cuts, district spokesperson Joe Donzelli says they have been working to cut back on overtime - and continue to do so.
"Is this a cost that you'd like to see come down?," asked Fox 4 reporter Matt Grant.
"I think it's one of the expenses in the district we'd all like to see come down, yes," said Donzelli.
The busing overtime comes from extracurricular activities, like band and sports, according to Donzelli.
"Looking at the top 10 folks that is a lot of money when it comes to overtime," admitted Donzelli. "However those dollars are directly resulting in services being provided to schools and students...you want to make sure football teams are getting to and from the games, you want to make sure the bands are getting to and from competition."
The district will negotiate with the union when their contract runs up to find alternative ways to cut back on overtime.
Currently, bus drivers are selected to fill the overtime gaps - if someone is sick, for instance - based on their seniority with the district.
The top three bus drivers (Green, Tracey, Williams) worked 670, 660 and 603 hours respectively over the past year. The bottom three (Bowling, White, Battle) worked 541, 519 and 513 hours respectively.
Below are the district employees sorted by last name, first name, how much they made in overtime during the 2010-11 school year and their title.
|Martin||Darlene||$15,558.75||After Sch Program Dir|
|Garris||Lillian||$15,465.75||After Sch Program Dir|
Matt Grant, Reporter