An audit by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found that not only have the MTA's overtime payments ballooned by 26% from 2005 to be $560 million last year, but, in a sampling, 77% of the time supervisors approve "undocumented" or "unjustified" overtime. That's potentially over $430 million right there! DiNapoli said that MTA has a "culture of acceptance...Uncontrolled overtime has been the rule rather than the exception at the MTA. The MTA is cutting services, raising fares and tolls and laying-off employees, but it should be doing more to control expenses."
Other factoids: There's a Long Island Rail Road train car repairman who "received $142,857 in overtime pay, equal to 220 percent of his $64,865 annual salary." Also, 144 MTA employees earned more in overtime than their annual salaries last year. DiNapoli suggests that the MTA "match work schedules to work opportunities to reduce the need for overtime" and "restrict overtime budgets to specific targets for overtime reduction."
The MTA said, "The comptroller's audit confirms what we reported earlier this year and reinforces the need for the aggressive actions we're taking to reduce unnecessary overtime." Indeed, when the agency made a pledge to crack down on overtime, it cited this example: "Locomotive engineers at the LIRR receive an extra day's pay for switching between electric and diesel equipment without working one extra minute."