JCPS spent almost $900,000 in overtime in 2008

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WHAS11.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 6:39 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 13 at 2:05 PM

Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) - How would you like to make $70,000 in overtime?

That's how much oneJefferson County Public School employee made last year.

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WHAS11 News has been looking at how much money the district is spending in overtime and the numbers may shock you!

JCPS spent almost $900,000 last year on overtime for classified employees.

Some employees made tens of thousands of dollars in overtime paid for by taxpayers.

But those in charge of approving the overtime say that it's worth it.

Cameras are the main reason two Jefferson County Public School employees racked in more than $141,000 in overtime.

"When you break it down it's a very good business model," says Mike Mulheim.

Mike Mulheirn is the facilities director for the district.

He says one employee in his department made more than $73,000 in overtime last year. Another made more than $68,000.

Mulheirn says the overtime was for installing security systems and cameras at 19 schools.

And he says it was also for setting up the sound system and recording school board and public meetings.

He says it's cheaper than hiring contractors.

His department maintains all the district buildings and they sometimes work odd hours to fix problems.

"We provide 1,500 square feet of well maintained facilities and there is a cost to that," says Mulheim.

When you look at the numbers his employees made $12,000, $15,000, $18,000 and even $26,000 in overtime last year.

Mulheirn says they are now looking at shifting schedules to reduce the overtime.

Eastern High School spent about $225,000 in overtime last year, mostly for security.

For the past two years a secretary at the school has made more than $20,000 in overtime.

"I ask the school secretary to work 2 hours a day over for surveillance and after school students," says Eastern High School principal, Jim Sexton.

Sexton says the secretary also comes in at odd hours because she is one of the few people who has access to security codes.

With the amount of money the school spends on overtime, Sexton says he could hire three more teachers but says safety comes first.

"We have more security and more cameras watching kids and making sure outsiders aren't getting to our kids, so the money is well spent," he says.

There are not any early projections on how much the district will spend on overtime this year.

Mike Mulheirn says it will be much less because the district doesn't have to install as many cameras and security systems this year.

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