Report: State laundry workers cleaning up in overtime - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Report: State laundry workers cleaning up in overtime

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By Abbey Niezgoda

Inside the doors of Rhode Island's Eleanor Slater Hospital, some workers are raking it in, and a new report shows, it's not only those who see the patients, but those who do their laundry that are bringing in the overtime big time.

The report was researched by a local think tank, Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity and published on Ocean State Current, and it shows some laundry workers pulling in more than six figures.

"It's an awful lot of money for a lower skilled work," Justin Katz said, who was one of three investigators involved in the report.

He says the numbers are staggering. They show a senior laundry worker at Slater Hospital making more than $123,000 a year, a laundry manager taking in more than $98,000 and a laundry worker earning just over $76,000. The majority of the income comes from overtime.

Katz says to earn twice their salaries in overtime, some of the employees would have had to work at least 100 hours a week every week.

"When you add that up, they're either working an awful lot which leads me to wonder if its an awful lot of just sitting around and watching the laundry spin," Katz said.

The group found laundry workers are not the only ones. They say nurses are also making double their salaries in overtime. The data came from a Watch Dog group at Northeastern. Katz says he tried to get it from the state, but they would not play ball.

Since releasing the research, Katz says he has heard the state is trying to hire more laundry workers to cut down on overtime, but he questions just how much of an impact it will have.

" According to our records, at most they've hired one person so if that's all it took to save $123,000, I guess that's pretty good," Katz said.

Calls to the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals were not immediately returned.

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