The Commissioners Court will discuss the challenges of and possible solutions to Collin County's overtime costs on Monday.

Overcoming the Overtime Problem

Recently I asked for your assistance in getting the word out that we have detention jobs available in the county and you responded. We received and continue to receive many more applications than previously. Thank you!

The Challenge

However, our overtime costs have skyrocketed since the end of January even though our open positions remain steady. Total overtime doubled in less than three months; from $51,803 on January 29 to $103,552 on April 9, for each two-week pay period. Jail overtime alone grew from $20,000 to more than $50,000 over the same period.

The Conversation

The increase is so dramatic that the Commissioners Court will discuss the challenges and possible solutions, as well as a new part time/temporary initiative on Monday. This discussion is meant to help policy makers understand the challenges and find solutions.

The Causes

There are several factors at play:
  • A new senior team is coordinating the jail and the hiring process
  • Employees can only sustain so much overtime before burning out
  • A strong economy entices entry-level employees to look elsewhere for more reasonable hours.
While some will point to salaries as the cause of the problem, the recent change is too recent and happened too rapidly after a long period of relative stability. In addition, the jump in cost occurred in the middle of a fiscal year, not at the beginning when salaries are adjusted.

The Outlook

I believe that when we reach equilibrium the turnover will diminish and we will return to stable and manageable overtime. In the meantime, please continue to send us good candidates for entry-level $35,000 per year jobs.