Posted at: 11/19/2013 2:24 PM
Updated at: 11/19/2013 6:19 PM
By: Brett Davidsen
I-Team 10 has learned that total state employee overtime is headed toward another record high.
The comptroller warned that the overtime spending could reach it's highest ever, at $600 million in 2013, if the trend continues.
According to the comptroller's report, state agencies have spent more than $462 million on overtime costs so far this year. That's an increase of $65 million over last year.
Whose spending is up the most this year? The Department of Corrections, with a total of $122 million dollars in overtime, is up $21 million this year alone. The Department of Transportation is up by $14 million, followed by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, which is up $8 million and the Office of Mental Health has spent an additional $5 million so far this year in overtime. They're all agencies that require 24 hour staffing.
Public employee unions point the finger of blame at the governor for cutting jobs, forcing those agencies to cover shifts with overtime.
News10NBC spoke with New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli via Skype. He says if the trend doesn't change, it has the potential to impact taxpayers short and long-term.
Thomas DiNapoli, NYS Comptroller, said, "The concern is we want to keep our budget in balance. We want to control these kinds of costs because they are premium costs. The employee that gets overtime gets paid, typically, time and a half. There's a long term cost as well, goes into the salary based part of the pension calculation for those employees that might be close to the end of their working careers. Those overtime costs are part of the average salary."
In looking at the breakdown of all agencies, a few of them did show decreases in overtime, with the Office of Temporary Assistance shaving almost half a million dollars from its overtime costs.
To see the entire breakdown of overtime spending, click here.