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.
The Office of Mental Health and the department that runs prisons and parole accounted for 67 percent of overtime.
The union representing thousands of state workers claims many of thier employees are forced into overtime because staffing at some state agencies is so low. The CSEA says while Governor Cuomo claims to be reducing the state workforce and streamlining state operations, union workers are facing madatory overtime to cover what they call a purely political situation. The union calls the money spent on overtime "perverse."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo claims he has held state spending to under 2 percent, saving billions, to confront deficits and waste.