Riders Furious They Have Since Been Asked To Ante Up Again

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has hit a bump in the road: massive spending on employee overtime.

The state comptroller has discovered $600 million in excessive overtime between 2008 and 2009.

As CBS 2’s Josh Landis reports, it meant some employees found themselves on the gravy train.

The MTA has been telling commuters they need to spend more, but state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said Thursday the MTA needs to worry about its own spending on overtime.

“They just haven’t managed money in the best way possible. That’s why we have stepped up our audits and oversights in this area,” DiNapoli said.

Reactions to the half-billion-plus dollars in MTA overtime pay ranged from anger to envy.

“There needs to be improvements on the subways and Metro North and all the other rails, so to me, it just doesn’t seem like a fair trade,” said Shelly Gattegno of Queens.

“Where can I get an application? I’d like to double my salary,” added Bob Jamieson of Greenwich, Conn.

More than 3,200 MTA employees received overtime equal to half their annual pay. More than 140 workers doubled their salaries.

Things got so out of control that one railroad repair man that normally made $65,000 pulled in more than $200,000 in one year with overtime.

The MTA does not dispute the findings. In a statement it said: “…combating excessive and unnecessary overtime is a critical element of our push to deliver the highest quality service at the lowest possible cost.”

DiNapoli said his office will be watching.

“At this time where dollars are so scarce we need to be sure that money is being spent wisely. In the case of overtime, that’s not been the situation,” DiNapoli said.

He recommends more efficient scheduling, more vigilant management and possibly an agency-wide cap on overtime to get MTA spending back on track.

Part of the reason for the overtime increase is the MTA laid off hundreds of employees, forcing others to work longer hours.

Comments (6)
  1. Big Picture says:

    FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY is probably a word not understood by management of the MTA. Is this Richard R character kidding me? Your whining about having to go to work on holiday’s and what not? Who’s holding a gun to your head to goto work? Find another job if you not happy working and making $$. The MTA needs to be flushed completely of its management right now and it needs to be regulated similar to how the PSC regulates Con Edison.

  2. FU says:

    You need to come to your senses. I’d like to apply for an MTA job and earn double my annual salary. I work in a private firm. We are very efficient in taking care of of customers while getting a decent market value salary and I pay for my healthcare. All you greedy unions don’t want to pay for anything out of pocket but want full job security and full benefits. GET WITH THE PROGRAM!!! Those days are GONE!!!!

  3. Richard R says:

    Im one of those employees but for a different company. I drive to work 70 miles in, and 70 out. If i work 16hrs, i drive home get 3 hrs of sleep ( sometimes less because i have to take care of my infant son in the morning) and go right back to work. It also does hurt when your family leaves to go have a nice Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and your walking out the door at the same time as them, but you got to go to work.

  4. Atholstaus Spilhausen says:

    The truth is “The fish rots from the head.” Fire the Board of Directors, President/CEO and the staff that are his personal hires. Shakeup the senior management from top to bottom. The Board of the MTA has been out of control for years. These people, by and large, have little or no understanding of fiscal responsibility. Most of the board are so wealthy they think a 25-cent increase in fare is the equivalent to a penny. They are completely out of touch with the reality of the consumers they are charged with serving. These are real estate people with no sense of responsibility and no commitment to people of the New York Region. It is time for the politicians who have put these people in place to step up and get rid of them. Put people with real lives on the board. People who are not politically beholding to anyone. It is time to bring the tyranny of the MTA to an end.

  5. Michael M says:

    What most people dont realize is that the MTA employees who earn that overtime are working the holidays when the rest of the public are home having dinner with family, working night shifts when the rest of you are sleeping at home in bed, and working 16 or more hour days, 7 days a week, all while running the largest transit system in the country. I guess this is the ” I dont have it so you cant either” generation…Very Sad

    1. mullen h says:

      it’s just bad management regardless of the need for people working holidays and night shifts. There’s also much less people riding at night as well so you don’t need a full force. It’s is plain bad management and poor staffing and turning a blind eye so a fellow can work the system. Now hand is in the cookie jar. Which generation of transit workers in the past made 200k, that is sad but true.

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