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State's overtime pay is up $65 million so far this year



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The Department of Corrections spent $121,898,691 on overtime pay so far in 2013, an increase of $20,585,480, or 20 percent, over the same period last year. Photo by AP.
November 21, 2013
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 DiNapoli revealed earlier this week.

Four agencies had the largest dollar increases in overtime costs, accounting for 70.3 percent of the state’s overtime spending. The Department of Corrections spent $121,898,691 so far in 2013, an increase of $20,585,480, or 20 percent, over the same period last year.

The Department of Transportation has spent $36,124,015 so far, an increase of $13,923,388, or 63 percent.

The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities has spent $95,337,757, an increase of $8,354,725, or 10 percent.

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The Office of Mental Health has spent $71,668,235, so far, an increase of $5,475,382, or 8 percent over last year.

“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.”

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 one and one-half 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: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/press/docs/2012_2013_OT.xlsx

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