Friday, September 9, 2011
Spending more for less
From the Daily News:
There's gold in those public housing toilets - and under the snow, on Rikers Island and on fire trucks zipping to blazes. As the Bloomberg administration has slashed the number of city employees, the smaller workforce has put in so many extra hours on the job that the overtime bill has surged to a projected $1.2 billion for the last fiscal year.
Our Erin Einhorn reports:
That's up roughly $76 million from the year before, the Independent Budget Office reports.
The figures don't even include the NYPD: City payroll data supplied to The News did not include police or district attorney employees - pending a review to remove undercover agents.
City officials defended the bank-busting expenses as a necessity, saying it's cheaper to pay fewer workers overtime than pay the pensions and health benefits of more employees. Experts say it's hard to know if that's true without a thorough review.
The city's overall payroll expenses are up, even as the headcount is down. The expenses are influenced by rising health care and pension costs - as well as hefty overtime pay.
Overtime can also increase pension costs since some employees pad their pensions by racking up extra hours - and pay - in their final years.