It's only money
Twice at the troughThis would almost be funny if it wasn't being accomplished with your tax dollars. What they don't explain is who is going to be covering for all those employees who decide to cash in. Want to bet the city also expends a large chunk of overtime on election day?
Shirley Hoy will broadcast a message to the city's 50,000 (and counting) employees -- both union and management -- inviting them to sign up to work on the Nov. 13 election at recruitment campaigns set for April 4 and 5.
Who will be able to resist? A City Hall policy, approved by Hoy and her two deputy city managers last September, will allow anyone who wants to participate to take the day off and still get paid by the city -- not once, but twice!
Greg Essensa, director of the city's elections services, confirmed there's a "corporate-approved" policy that grants employees "leave" to help with the election on that particular day.
They will get paid for NOT doing their regular job on that day and they'll also collect the rate of payment for "whatever additional (election day) position they're assigned to," he told me yesterday.
He said they need 12,000 people to man the election polls and there will be an active ad campaign to recruit members of the public for the jobs as well. Some $1.8 million of the city's $6-million elections budget will be used to pay election-day staff.
There are 18 different job possibilities. For example, ballot officers are needed from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. on election day and will get paid $185. Managing deputy returning officers work from 8:30 a.m.-9 p.m. and will earn $260.
Ward centre drivers are needed from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. to drive a cube van delivering furniture and to lift items weighing 25-30 pounds. They'll earn $220 for their efforts. A driver receiver, who drives a van and unloads supplies from 6:30 pm.-11:30 p.m., will get paid $150.
That means a city cleaner can make his or her $20.91 an hour for the day, a garbage worker his or her $23.88 an hour or a public health nurse the regular $35.73 per hour -- for taking the day off from their jobs -- and collect another $200 or so on top of that.
Nah. That would be a sucker bet.