- Posted by Gene Irvine
- On Sep 15, 2018
- 0 Comments
- Budget Savings, Financial, K-12 Schools
Episode 2: Defeat Overtime
Imagine overtime as a character in a DC Comic. It stands amongst villains like Lex Luther, Brainiac, and the Joker. Overtime will casually suck money from budgets, rob time away from what matters most, and trick you into believing there is no other way to accomplish your goals. However, we know that every villain can be defeated! You – the superhero – must uncover its Achilles heel and deliver the unexpected blow.
As a K-12 leader you recognize that time is a commodity – a valuable one. Employees’ time holds tremendous value especially in a world of increasing pay and retirement costs. While some love overtime and the extra pay it brings for the holidays, it certainly takes money away from the district’s budget and takes precious time from the employee’s life. With overtime there comes overhead costs, strain on employee happiness, and the monetary squeeze. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to give time back to your employees and keep money in your budget!
Tips from the field:
Many districts discover that overtime’s weakness is automation. To figure this out, they look at the data – who is requesting overtime, what is the time used for, and why. They review time reports and extra duty requests aggregated across the district. With this information they realize that their manual process has been too slow to keep up with the number of extra duty requests. By tracking this data at the high level as well as detailed, they begin to dissect what’s going on under the hood. Often, awareness is the first step to improving a process.
Let’s use Azusa Unified School District (AUSD) as an example. AUSD reported handling over 1,000 requests for extra duty and overtime in a matter of three months. This is a huge number of requests. Marc Bommarito, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services at AUSD said, “With the large volume of extra duty and overtime time request, we realized we needed to streamline and integrate our approval and time keeping processes.”
Overtime can creep in different ways and in different areas. It often appears when there are paper-based or semi-paper-based processes. If your district has employees submitting time sheets to sites who then submit to payroll, you know it can get cumbersome very quickly. Time cards need to be manually calculated and checked to ensure the proper budget codes are being assigned. It takes hours of overtime to ensure the correct approvals are in place, that leave balances are tracked accurately, and that substitutes, and hourly workers are getting paid correctly.
The payroll staff at Burbank Unified School District were weighed down by their manual process. Recognizing the need for efficiency, they streamlined their process. By putting in place the right systems and processes, they saved 100+ overtime hours every month.
In the previous episode, “Unraveling Your Process,” we asked, “How are you tracking extra duty or overtime hours? Are you consistently over budget?” Step back again to notice where overtime shows up in your budget. Can automation or a more streamlined process unravel savings for your district?