DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT AND POWER: OVERTIME PAYMENTS.
An Coiste um Chuntais Phoiblí.
At the proceedings of the Committee on 11th June, 1964, I undertook to furnish information regarding extra remuneration paid during 1962-63.
The extra remuneration referred to in the Notes to the Appropriation Account includes (a) payments for overtime and (b) payments in respect of attendance during the night hours (midnight to 8 a.m.). The night duty allowance varied from 8s. 4d. to 13s. 7d. per night depending on the salary rate. The number of officers who received amounts of extra remuneration exceeding £200 during the year 1962-63 was 29. Excluding night duty allowance payments, the number of officers who were paid overtime in excess of £200 was 12.
All the officers who received overtime payments in excess of £200 were employed in the Radio Service. This Service operates on a 24-hour basis on every day of the year and it is necessary to have four shifts covering each period of 24 hours. The Service is operated in the interests of safety in aircraft movements. Accordingly each shift must be fully manned and if an officer is not available because of illness or other exceptional cause it is necessary to employ an officer from another shift to cover the absence. This entails the payment of overtime.
During 1962-63 the following exceptional circumstances, necessitating the working of large amounts of overtime by Radio Service staff, prevailed:
(i) New Precision Approach Radar was installed at Shannon Airport while the installation of Surveillance Radar at Dublin Airport was commenced. The cost of these installations was of the order of £300,000. This demanded additional attendance and co-operation by Radio Officers with the contractor’s engineers in order to ensure adequate training and familiarisation of the Department’s technicians with the equipment. At the same time normal maintenance of the existing radar equipment had to be provided by the same staff.
(ii) There was a shortage of staff during the year and new staff recruited had to undergo training for some months before they could assume full responsibility.
Overtime is, as far as possible, scheduled evenly over the entire staffs of the Radio Service. However, some officers do not wish to perform overtime and, by agreement, other members of the staff perform their share of overtime. It occasionally also happens that, when additional duties have to be allocated at short notice one officer may be called upon to perform more overtime than his colleagues.
In general, every effort is made to keep overtime as low as possible and it is authorised only by an appropriate senior officer where the circumstances demand that the overtime is necessary for the proper and efficient performance of the duties attaching to the various services administered by this Department.