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New Haven Employees Working Overtime To Compensate For Unfilled Positions

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker
Ebong Udoma
WSHU Public Radio
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker

City employees in New Haven, Connecticut, are working extra hours because of growing job vacancies. This has forced the city to redirect funds towards overtime pay in the middle of a budget crisis.

Mayor Justin Elicker said the city has about a dozen more unfilled jobs this year. He said many public health nurses, in particular, left for higher paying jobs during the pandemic.

"Nurses over the past year have really struggled because we put a lot of pressure on them in particular. The nurses in New Haven are school nurses, and they signed up to be school nurses so there’s a lot of pressure and there’s a significant market for nurses out there because of the pandemic,” Elicker said.

Elicker said he plans to fill those openings, despite a $66 million budget shortfall.

Elicker said jobs in the housing inspection department have also been hard to fill because people can earn more in suburban towns or the private sector. He said this is an issue discussed on weekly calls with mayors of other major cities across Connecticut.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.