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DiNapoli: State agency overtime tops $462 million; could hit record $600 million by year's end

by jmaloni


Tue, Nov 19th 2013 05:00 pm

State agencies spent more than $462 million on overtime in the first nine months of 2013, a jump of $65 million over the same period in 2012, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today.

"Overtime costs continue to rise. If the trend continues, the state could spend over $600 million by the end of the calendar year, which is a substantial jump from last year," DiNapoli said. "Reliance on overtime is becoming an expensive habit. I continue to urge state agencies to improve their personnel management, reduce overtime costs and carefully monitor its use."

Four agencies had the largest dollar increases in overtime costs, accounting for 70.3 percent of the state's overtime spending.

Agency                                               TOTAL OT     Increased Amount        %Increase

Dept. of Corrections                       $121,898,691  $20,585,480                20%

Dept. of Transportation                 $36,124,015    $13,923,388                63%

OPWDD                                            $95,337,757    $8,354,725                  10%

Office of Mental Health                 $71,668,235    $5,475,382                  8%

In terms of percentage for agencies that spent at least $500,000 in overtime, the Office of Information Technology Services saw the largest increase, up 517 percent, followed by the Department of Taxation and Finance, up 437 percent, and the Department of Financial Services, up 347 percent, DiNapoli reported.

Other state agencies actually decreased overtime spending, including the Office of Temporary Disability Assistance, which saw the largest percentage drop at 51 percent.

Overtime rose by more than 16 percent across all state agencies. Overtime data covers the first nine months of 2013 compared to the same time last year.

Generally, state employees who are eligible for overtime compensation are paid at a rate of 1-1/2 times their regular pay. Overtime may also impact pension payout calculations. While total earnings for all state employees have declined in the past two years, overtime pay has continued to rise.

DiNapoli's office routinely issues reports on ways to improve the efficiency of state operations. While the office generally reports on overtime costs on an annual basis, given the upward trend in costs, it will be releasing reports periodically on how overtime is being managed by state agencies.

For overtime data, click here: www.osc.state.ny.us/press/docs/2012_2013_OT.xlsx.

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