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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

DiNapoli: State Agency Overtime Pay Rose to a Record $716 Million Last Year

February 10, 2016

Overtime pay at state agencies jumped for the sixth straight year to a record $716 million in 2015 – up nearly $55 million from the year before, according to a report released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The total number of overtime hours worked also increased, continuing a trend that began in 2011.

“State employees worked 16.8 million overtime hours last year, at a record cost of $716 million,” DiNapoli said. “New York’s state agencies need to ensure that overtime use is justified, while ensuring that work is done safely and effectively.”

The majority of overtime use was concentrated in three agencies that manage institutions: the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) and the Office of Mental Health (OMH). Together, the three agencies accounted for 65.3 percent of the overtime hours, almost 11 million hours, and nearly 63 percent of the overtime earnings, $450.3 million, logged by all state agencies.

Six agencies had over 25 percent of their workforces accruing overtime, reflecting a relatively heavy reliance on overtime. Veterans’ Homes had the highest share of overtime workers, at 46.5 percent, followed by OPWDD and the State Police.

DiNapoli’s report also found the state’s agency workforce has declined 13.1 percent, from 180,564 in 2007 to 156,986 last year, excluding the State University of New York and City University of New York. These numbers are based on the agency “count,” or total number of all employees, including full-time, part-time and temporary staff per pay period throughout the year.

Office of the State Comptroller data shows that of the agencies that incurred at least 10,000 hours in overtime, those with the highest percentage increases in 2015 over 2014 were:

  • Division of State Police, up 62.1 percent;
  • Alcoholism Treatment Centers, up 50.5 percent; and
  • Gaming Commission, up 31.5 percent.

Of the agencies that incurred at least 10,000 hours in overtime worked during either year, those with the largest percentage decreases over 2014 were:

  • Department of Labor, down 86.2 percent;
  • Helen Hayes Hospital, down 56 percent; and
  • Department of Taxation and Finance, down 54.6 percent.

DiNapoli notes that overtime can have a substantial impact on long-term pension costs.

See the full report at:

Additional data on State agency overtime usage, is available here: