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State agency overtime hits record $611 million

ALBANY - Overtime earnings at state agencies rose to a record $611 million in 2013, a nearly 16 percent increase compared to 2012, according to a report released by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. Overtime increased in 2013 for the third straight year.

“State employees logged 14.8 million overtime hours last year, costing taxpayers a record $611 million. New York’s overtime bill is increasing and needs to be reined in,”DiNapoli said. “State agencies should take a hard look at how they are using overtime and for what. To hold the line on state spending, state agencies should double their efforts to reduce this expensive habit.”

DiNapoli’s report found for the seven-year period ending in 2013, overtime earnings were up by 27.3 percent. Overtime represented 3.9 percent of total payroll in 2013, the highest share in the years analyzed for the report. 

 Three agencies that operate institutional facilities - the Office of Mental Health (OMH), the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) and the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities - accounted for 63.5 percent of the overtime hours in 2013. Total overtime hours dropped slightly at all three, compared with 2012.  Other agencies paid high hourly rates for overtime, such as the State Police, which spent an average of $74.35 per hour of overtime at a cost of $35 million. DOCCS paid the next highest average of $51.18 per hour of overtime for a total of $160 million.

Meanwhile, DiNapoli’s report found the state’s agency workforce has declined 10.9 percent, from 180,564 in 2007 to 160,829 last year, excluding the State University of New York and City University of New York.

See the full report at:  www.osc.state.ny.us/reports/overtime/State_Agency_OT_Report2014.pdf