Windsor

Windsor fire department fighting to contain overtime costs

Windsor's fire service is reporting a projected deficit of nearly $1.5 million, with most of that unexpected spending going toward overtime hours.
Windsor Fire Chief Bruce Montone spoke to council about the overtime issues the department has been facing. (CBC)

Windsor's fire service is reporting a projected deficit of nearly $1.5 million, with most of that unexpected spending going toward overtime hours.

Fire Chief Bruce Montone spoke to council on Monday evening about the department's budget issues.

He explained that almost all the excess spending has gone to overtime payments.

"We're working on a number of mitigation measures including attendance management and monitoring overtime to make sure only the very most necessary overtime is authorized," Montone said Monday night. "And we're working with our finance department to look at our staff complement to make sure that it's the appropriate number."

Montone said the need for overtime stems from an arbitrator's ruling.

Mayor Drew Dilkens said the cost issues are not a case of irresponsible management, as they are beyond the city's control.

"The reality at the end of the day is that 96.2 per cent of all of the costs related to fire and delivery of fire service are not within our control," he said Monday night.

"They are arbitrated settlements — they are settlements and legislated issues that we're required to provide that drive some of the costs and they are not within the control of council to change."

With a report from the CBC's Nick Boisvert

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