University of Regina sign

The University of Regina paid some employees more than $100,000 in overtime, even though they didn't work extra hours for it. (CBC)

U of R president responds to CBC story

(This email from the office of U of R president Vianne Timmons was released Sept. 17): 

Members of the campus community, 

This information is being provided as a result of a media report issued
this morning.  

Approximately one year ago, in September 2012, the President’s Office
became aware of a situation that involved overtime paid to two employees
in the Faculty of Education over a period dating back to 2001.

While for privacy reasons specific personnel issues cannot be
discussed, the following facts are germane.

When the situation in the Faculty was reported to the President's
Office, the overtime payments were immediately stopped. 

At the same time, deans, associate vice-presidents, and directors
across the University were instructed to review all overtime records and
claims in their Faculties and administrative units, and to report any
problems or anomalies to their vice-president.

The following month, in October 2012, a review was undertaken of all
overtime paid out over the previous 5 years. No further anomalies came
to light.  

Administrators in each Faculty and unit are responsible for ensuring
that overtime claims are reviewed before processing. 

Office of the President 
University of Regina

The University of Regina is refusing to answer key questions about overtime payments in excess of six figures that were inappropriately paid to a couple of administrative employees. 

CBC's iTeam has learned that for 11 years, the two non-academic workers in the faculty of education received overtime payments although they did not, in fact, work the extra time.

In a recent telephone conversation, James McNinch, the dean of the faculty of education, acknowledged to CBC News that he knew of and approved of the payments.

McNinch said no discipline was handed out because payments of this type were "standard practice" at the U of R. 

When pressed further McNinch insisted he had to end the call and go to a meeting.

University responds

An official reply from the university tells a different story about the university's approach to overtime payments.

In an email to CBC, a spokesperson said in response to the contention of McNinch, "this is not a 'common practice' at the University of Regina."

Senior officials at the university became aware of the unearned overtime payments last fall and, the university says, "when the issue was brought to the attention of senior administration, it was stopped immediately."

Several months after that decision, the university made the following announcement: "Dr. James McNinch has accepted a one-year extension to 30 June 2014 of his term as Dean, Faculty of Education."

CBC asked university officials if there were any consequences for McNinch or the two administrative employees who received the unearned overtime. It also asked if there was a review to determine whether this practice was in fact widespread, or whether anything was done to recover the thousands of dollars paid.

CBC received this one-line response: "There will be no further comment on this matter."

However, after this story was published on Sept. 17, the office of U of R president Vianne Timmons sent an email to people on campus, which contained some additional information.

The email said after the improper overtime was discovered a year ago, all deans, associate vice-presidents, and directors across campus were instructed to review all overtime records and report back.

"The following month, in October 2012, a review was undertaken of all overtime paid out over the previous five years," the email said. "No further anomalies came to light."

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