City Weighs Additional Costs With Obama's Overtime Directive
In planning for the 2017 Budget, the City of San Antonio is anticipating additional costs from a new directive from the Obama Administration on overtime compensation. The payroll of several hundred city employees will be affected.
In December, all salaried employees in the United States making about $47476 or below per year will now be eligible for overtime. That’s time-and-a-half pay for every hour over 40 per week. Currently, salaried workers making more than $26,000 per year are not eligible for overtime. The City of San Antonio has about 1,300 salaried employees who make less than $47,476.
Assistant City Manager Maria Villagomez says that will cost the city about $3.5 million dollars per year. “When we propose a budget we’ll bring some recommendations to the council, we are going to look at job classifications to see if there are some adjustments we can make to the city’s budget,” she says.
One avenue the city may take is to increase the pay of employees to above the threshold. “I use a budget analyst as an example. If a budget analyst base pay is $45,000, we could maybe increase it to 47,800 dollars and avoid the overtime issue,” Villagomez says.
It’s a new cost the city will have to compensate for, and District 10 Councilman Mike Gallagher says he wonders how long that directive could last when President Obama leaves office in January. “We really don’t know what’s going to happen next year and this could cause a dramatic change if indeed that’s fact and we’re going to have to make sure this executive order, as opposed to legislation from Congress, is considered.”
The city has about 7,800 civilian employees on its payroll. About 2,800 are classified as salaried. Over the next two months city staff will design a budget that in recent years has reached $2.5 billion for all city departments and services. The 2017 budget would take effect on Oct. 1, two months before President Obama’s directive takes place.