STATE – Through the end of November, employees of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have earned over $90 million in overtime pay, according to data released by the agency last week.
The Port Authority’s Public Safety Department accounted for nearly half of the overtime spending, with its employees earning more than $41 million in overtime.
In addition, employees cashed in more than $10 million in unused vacation and compensatory time.
In August, the New York State Comptroller’s Officer was critical of the Port Authority’s overtime spending practices after conducting an audit.
“Overtime flows like water at the Port Authority and management has no clear strategy to achieve its own benchmarks and goals for curbing costs,” said New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. “Every agency in this state is tightening its belt. Before the Port Authority asks for more money to fund its operations, the agency should take a long, hard look at whether its business model for managing overtime really makes sense.”
The president of the union representing the Port Authority Police officers blamed the overtime costs on the authority’s failure to hire an adequate number of personnel.
In September, the Port Authority raised tolls on six Hudson River crossings and fares on the PATH train service to pay for a variety of capital projects, including the World Trade Center project. New York State and North Jersey chapters of AAA have filed a suit against the Port Authority, alleging that the toll hike violates federal law because funds will be used for projects not directly related to transportation.
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