Meet Nunavut’s overtime champs: health workers
In two years, health department paid out nearly $24M in overtime
Casual and permanent employees at Nunavut’s health department racked up nearly $24 million in overtime pay during the two-year period between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2014, a document tabled in the legislature reveals.
Finance Minister Keith Peterson tabled the document Feb. 24. It’s a written response to a written question that Iqaluit-Tasiluk MLA George Hickes filed this past Nov. 27.
In it, a table showing GN overtime spending reports the health department spent about $12.4 million on overtime in 2012-13 and about $11.5 million on overtime in 2013-14.
The combined overtime total for all GN departments, boards and agencies totalled about $42.7 million over the same two-year period.
So that means health department workers accounted for more than half the GN’s overtime bill.
The next highest overtime spenders were the Qulliq Energy Corp., with about $5.4 million in overtime, and the Department of Justice, with about $5.2 million.
Only two other GN entities reported overtime costs in excess of a million dollars over the same period: the Department of Community and Government Services, at about $2.9 million, and the Department of Family Services, at about $1.7 million.
At the other end of the scale, the Nunavut Status of Women Council paid only $2,113.50 in overtime and the Liquor Licencing Board only $3,315.47.
It’s perhaps not surprising the Nunavut health department produces such a big overtime bill.
Measured by the number of workers it employees, the health department is the second largest department in the GN, with 1,088 person-years, or full-time equivalent jobs, booked for 2015-16.
In 2013-14, the department paid out $111 million in pay and benefits and in 2015-16, that’s expected to rise to about $125.8 million.
But at the same time, the health department is seriously understaffed — a GN employment report shows that as of June 2014, only 61 per cent of jobs at the health department were filled.