ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says state overtime pay rose nearly 11 percent last year to $529 million, continuing a costly trend since workforce cuts beginning in 2009.
A big increase was in the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, which was the subject of a March budget fight in the Legislature over the latest cut. DiNapoli says the office saw an average of seven hours of overtime paid to an employee each two-week pay period. The overall staff sized dropped by nearly 3,000 workers since 2008 to 22,672.
"State agencies spent nearly $52 million more on overtime in 2012 than the year before for nearly 14.5 million hours of overtime," DiNapoli said. "We found seven agencies with more than 25 percent of employees working overtime to meet their responsibilities. New York State policy requires limiting overtime to a minimum, and I urge all agencies to ensure that this expense is reduced whenever possible."
DiNapoli's report found three agencies – those that operate large institutional facilities – saw steep increases in 2012, accounting for 67.3 percent of overtime hours statewide: the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, the Office of Mental Health and the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.
Division of Budget responded to the report saying: "Since
the Governor took office, agency budgets were cut by 10 percent in the first
year and spending has remained flat ever since. Each agency is managing their
workforce to stay within their budget. As a result, overall payroll spending is
Other agencies heavily reliant on overtime include Veterans' Homes, which spent 10.5 percent of agency pay on overtime, State Police, which spent 6 percent on overtime, and the Department of Transportation, which spent 5.7 percent of agency pay on overtime.
Overtime represented 3.6 percent of state agency payroll in 2012.