Union Rules and “Unique System” Drive Up Overtime for State Government Community Living Aides
Suzanne bates has another state-payroll-related investigative report on the Ocean State Current, this one covering a job titled “community living assistant.”
These are high-school-educated employees with average regular pay below $36,000, who’ve been able to triple their pay with overtime and other salary enhancements, topping out near $130,000. Their job entails helping the residents of group homes, with at least two CLAs watching over four to six patients on a 24-hour basis. Obviously, there’s apt to be downtime.
Especially notable, in this case, is the role of union rules in driving up the overtime costs. A decade ago, the department attempted to introduce “floaters,” who could cover shifts at more than one of the facilities. The union objected that the strategy wasn’t fair. On the other hand, senior CLAs can effectively “float” around the state… as long as they’re doing it for overtime.
As we continue to sort through the outrageous spending for which so of Rhode Islanders’ income is confiscated through taxes, Suzanne’s doing a great job of filling in the picture of how the game works.