NY State Overtime Costs On Pace for Record High

ALBANY (AP) -

New York agencies racked up more than $316 million in overtime in the first six months of 2014, according to the state comptroller’s office, continuing a recent trend of sharply higher overtime costs for taxpayers.

If the pace continues, New York will spend nearly two-thirds of a billion dollars on overtime this year, $30 million more than in 2013. Overtime costs were $529 million in 2012 and $469 million in 2011.

“This troubling trend could again result in a record-breaking year of overtime hours and overtime pay,” Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said. “Our state agencies need to examine their practices, get to the root of what is driving high overtime and better manage these costs.”

While overtime costs are up, a spokesman for Gov. Andrew Cuomo said overall costs are down from past years.

“Overtime is used carefully and only when needed,” said Rich Azzopardi, a Cuomo spokesman. “The alternative would be a larger, more expensive, state bureaucracy that New York taxpayers can no longer afford.”

Overall, state agencies worked more than 7.8 million hours of overtime in the first six months of 2014. The Office for People with Disabilities worked the most overtime, with more than 2 million hours. The Department of Corrections had the biggest overtime costs at $79.8 million.