Press Releases
CONTACT:
Press Office
(518) 474-4015

 FOR RELEASE:

Immediately
August 5, 2010



MTA’S “Culture of Acceptance” Enabled Overtime Abuse

DiNapoli Audit Finds $600 million in Overtime Budgets Approved Without Question

More than 140 employees at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) doubled their annual salaries through overtime pay last year, according to an audit released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.  DiNapoli said there was a “culture of acceptance” surrounding overtime abuse at the MTA.

“Uncontrolled overtime has been the rule rather than the exception at the MTA,” DiNapoli said. “The MTA is cutting services, raising fares and tolls and laying-off employees, but it should be doing more to control expenses.  Overtime shouldn’t equate to twice someone’s annual salary. When scores of employees are earning more in overtime than they make in salary, it’s time for the MTA to change the culture of acceptance to a culture of accountability.”

DiNapoli’s audit found that one Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) train car repairman received $142,857 in overtime pay, equal to 220 percent of his $64,865 annual salary. One hundred forty four other MTA employees earned more in overtime pay than from their annual salaries in 2009, according to the audit.

DiNapoli’s audit examined the MTA’s books between January 2008 and December 2009 and found four of the authority’s seven constituent agencies—the LIRR, Metro-North, Bridges and Tunnels and NYC Transit—accounted for almost 90 percent ($540 million) of all MTA overtime. The audit identified $56 million in potential overtime savings.

Auditors also discovered serious flaws in the MTA central office’s overtime budget practices. The central office accepted overtime budgets from constituent agencies without questioning them or making any effort to reduce overtime spending at constituent agencies. One Metro-North supervisor told auditors that overtime abuse was not a problem, despite a 32 percent increase in overtime costs at that agency over the last four years.

DiNapoli’s audit also found:

  • More than 3,200 MTA employees at the MTA receive overtime pay equal to half of their annual salaries;
  • Significant amounts of overtime incurred by replacing sick workers, even though no effort was made to find out whether replacements were needed; and
  • Unjustified or undocumented work in 77 percent of sampled overtime transactions.

DiNapoli’s audit recommends the MTA:

  • Match work schedules to work opportunities to reduce the need for overtime;
  • Restrict overtime budgets to specific targets for overtime reduction; and
  • Follow up on 59 questionable overtime payments identified by auditors.

The following chart identifies MTA employees who earned more than $100,000 in overtime during 2009 by job title, agency, overtime received and annual salary. A more complete chart of high overtime earners is included in the audit:

         
MTA workers earning more than $100,000 in overtime
For the Period January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009
 
 
Compensation
Position
Agency
Overtime
Base Salary
Total
Foreman-Track
LIRR
$145,151
$82,249
$230,708
Car Repairman
LIRR
142,857
64,865
208,295
Supervisor Crew Dispatcher
LIRR
138,300
79,003
233,113
Car Repairman
LIRR
137,291
64,865
201,059
Officer
B & T
122,160
58,444
190,190
Asst Supervisor - C&S
Metro-North
117,331
81,976
199,306
Road Car Electrician
LIRR
116,466
66,826
186,723
Sergeant
B & T
112,949
76,384
223,628
Gang Foreman Mechanical
LIRR
111,688
82,249
198,397
Car Repairman
LIRR
111,382
64,865
174,287
Foreman
Metro-North
110,770
85,038
195,809
Road Inspector
LIRR
108,963
73,744
187,246
Foreman-Track
LIRR
108,581
82,249
196,061
Car Repairman
LIRR
107,970
80,029
174,638
Car Road Electrician
LIRR
107,077
66,826
178,177
Chief Train Dispatcher
LIRR
102,420
106,005
213,235

About the State Comptroller’s MTA Audits

The Office of the State Comptroller has issued 13 audits of the MTA since 2007, including audits of the agency’s real estate portfolio and personal and miscellaneous services contract budget. DiNapoli’s office has also released several reports on the MTA’s finances and policies.

Click here for a copy of the audit, or visit www.osc.state.ny.us.

###

Albany Phone: (518) 474-4015 Fax: (518) 473-8940
NYC Phone: (212) 383-1388 Fax: (212) 681-7677
Internet: www.osc.state.ny.us
E-Mail: press@osc.state.ny.us