The Daily Gazette
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Gazette Editorial

Editorial: Adjustments feasible in OT-pension rule

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Should police officers who are essentially working overtime on behalf of the city have the hours credited toward their pensions, even if the city is being compensated by a private entity? On the surface, it appears that they should. But is the state comptroller's office clear that those hours are not applicable to pensions? It is. So Schenectady officials should start conforming to what the existing rule is, then, if they want to, work to ...

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July 30, 2014
9:29 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I dont think anyone realizes the complexity of the whole issue. First, the officers used to be hired directly by the establishments but the city decided that it wanted all details to go through them, at a higher cost to the establishment I might add. This was done for several reasons, from control to liability, etc. The officer doesn't get paid any more more but it is nearly twice the cost per hour for whomever needs them. Second, officers sign up for overtime and are sometimes assigned to the detail and some times the shift. You don't necessarily sign up for the detail or the street and get the assignment of your choice. Therefore, who is it up to, to decide if you are working towards your pension or not? Third, if you are assigned to work a block party or other detail, you could be called away if there is an emergency to assist the patrols or another function. When this happens, the financial burden is supposed to come off the establishment but who knows if it does? It was never broke. They tried to fix it. Now it is broken....

July 30, 2014
8:53 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Schenectady's chances of changing the law when it appears most municipalities are already in compliance appears to be a tough climb. The best they could hope for in my opinion is that retired officers do not get their pension amount lessened in addition to paying back any monies. Maybe there is a statute of limitations with regard to this? The harsh reality is the comptroller's interpretation of the law as well as the fact that a private establishment is paying wages and NOT future pension obligations when hiring a police officer. Those 2 things would appear hard to overcome. But I'm not a lawyer.

August 1, 2014
1:33 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I wonder if or how Schenectady will go back into its records and straiten out the pension thing and claw back the money paid through city residents taxes that could be used for better purposes (or a tax decrease).

August 1, 2014
7:21 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

A cop is a cop if he is working a block party or a shift. He could be injured or worse at either, but with the amount of people and in many cases alcohol being served, I would say that there is a high potential of violence at these festivals. Should an officer not be compensated for risking their lives. Police are working 24/7 even off duty. Many departments mandate that they carry a weapon off duty. Stop the crap, there are only a few of these events each year and we are talking minimal money in the pension. This is just more police bashing in my opinion since the Gazette feels the need to write countless articles on the same junk. I think the Gazette should start investigating themselves, if what I hear is true.