NEW YORK (PIX 11)— The Metropolitan Transportation Authority shelled out more than $1 billion in overtime pay to its employees last year, according to payroll data released Friday.
More than 300 workers collected at least $100,000 in overtime, four of whom pocketed more than $200,000, records show. Approximately 700 earned more in overtime than their regular salary, according to the data posted on SeeThroughNewYork, the Empire Center’s government transparency website.
The MTA overtime bill totaled $1.2 billion in 2021 — $16 million more than the prior year. The MTA oversees several agencies, but among the top 10 worst offenders the biggest payout was $707,796 to the New York City Transit Authority, per the release from Empire Center. Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad saw payouts of $167,194 and $107,460, respectively.
The MTA forked over a record-high $1.38 billion in overtime pay in 2018, which lead to a series of investigations and criminal charges, officials said. MTA Chief Operating Officer Lisette Camilo said the agency continues to reduce and manage overtime spending.
“The fact we were able to hold the line during a period in which staffing shortages required the use of scheduled overtime as a strategic way to maintain the levels of subway and bus service expected by New Yorkers speaks to the effectiveness of systemic controls,” Camilo said in a release. “Even with staffing levels recovering following a hiring freeze caused by the pandemic, our approach will not change.”