State Agencies Pay $787M In Overtime; 18.1M Hours

Overtime pay in 2018 at state agencies was at the highest level within the past decade, rising to $787 million, according to a report by state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

Overtime hours also rose, with 18.1 million hours worked.

“New York state’s overtime pay has seen significant growth in the past decade,” DiNapoli said. “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 Department of Labor, Office of Children and Family Services and the Department of Health.

Overtime has accounted for 3.9 percent of all state payroll costs from 2009 to 2018, totaling more than $6.1 billion. New York state policy calls for overtime work to be held to a minimum consistent with operational needs by proper scheduling and other arrangements.

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

OPWDD and DOCCS experienced significant increases in overtime hours per employee over the past decade. 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 Department of Labor, down 96.5 percent; and Department of Taxation and Finance, down 61 percent.

Agencies that reduced total overtime pay over last five years include the Office of Children and Family Services and the Department of Taxation and Finance.

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