PAWTUCKET — It's a sign of the economic times: an employee being asked to do another job in addition to his own. At Pawtucket City Hall, three director-level workers are doing their own job plus that of another department head, and earning an extra $200 a week for their efforts.
At a City Council meeting last month, Councilor Larry Tetreault brought up the fact that some municipal department heads are being compensated for supervising other divisions within the city that currently have no department/division head. Tetreault said he wanted to know how much extra these department/division heads were being paid for performing double duties and requested that the council be given this information.
In a recent letter of response, Director of Administration Antonio Pires outlined the three current cases where a director is handling the duties of another department head and being compensated at an additional $200 a week in salary. In all three situations, the department head is filling in for a vacancy in an “acting as” capacity. Pires further maintains that the situation has provided a substantial savings for the city, rather than simply allowing a few individuals the opportunity to earn extra income, as Tetreault's line of questioning seemed to suggest.
Finance Director Joanna L'Heureux is acting as Personnel Director since the retirement of the former Personnel Director, Purchasing Director David Clemente is filling in for the former Information Technology Director, and Department of Public Works Director Lance Hill is handling the duties of the former City Engineer. All three assumed their compensated added duties effective Sept. 3.
Pires noted that in all three cases, the directors, while performing double duty, are all being compensated on a weekly basis “at a level far below what full time directors in these now vacant positions had earned, and obviously with no additional expense for medical benefits, a further ongoing source of savings during this period.”
Pires further noted that the extra $200 per week that these directors doing double duty are receiving “must also be seen in light of overtime costs that would otherwise have certainly been incurred.”
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