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DiNapoli: State agency overtime pay hit $787M in 2018, highest amount in a decade

By Eric Reinhardt

Date:

A new report from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found that overtime earnings in 2018 were at the highest levels of any year “within the past 10 years,” rising to $787 million. (Eric Reinhardt / BJNN file photo)

ALBANY, N.Y. — Overtime earnings and hours in 2018 were at the highest levels of any year “within the past 10 years,” rising to $787 million.

Overtime hours also rose, with 18.1 million hours worked.

That’s according to a report that New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released last Thursday.

“New York state’s overtime pay has seen significant growth in the past decade,” DiNapoli said in a news release. “As the state confronts increasingly high costs for overtime, New York needs to find ways to better manage costs while providing taxpayers with critical services.”

Meanwhile, the average number of state employees (excluding the State University of New York and the City University of New York) decreased slightly in 2018 to 155,818, 12 percent lower than in 2009. The largest decreases occurred in the New York State Departments of Labor, Office of Children and Family Services, and Health.

Overtime has accounted for 3.9 percent of all state payroll costs from 2009 to 2018, totaling more than $6.1 billion, the report found.

DiNapoli noted that New York state policy also calls for “proper scheduling and other arrangements” to hold overtime work to a “minimum consistent with operational needs,” per the news release.

Other findings

Three state agencies that manage institutional settings accounted for 62.5 percent of overtime hours logged by all state agencies in 2018. They included the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), and the Office of Mental Health.

OPWDD and DOCCS had “significant” increases in overtime hours per employee over the past decade, the report found. Other agencies with comparatively large increases in such hours since 2009 include the Division of State Police, up 96.3 percent; the Office of General Services, up 87.7 percent; and the Department of Transportation, up 79.5 percent. Agencies with decreases in overtime hours per employee included the state Labor Department, down 96.5 percent; and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, down 61 percent.

Agencies that reduced total overtime pay over last five years include the New York State Office of Children and Family Services and the state Taxation and Finance Department, DiNapoli’s office said.

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

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