City employees cash in on overtime

- City employees are making a lot of overtime pay.  None more than one member of the Department of Corrections.

It looks like working there pays off big for some.  Employees can make more double or triple of their base salary.

Senior engineer Gregoory Grabowki has a base salary of $82,808 according to the Empire Center but took home $373,904 because of overtime.  The government spending watchdog group posted the salaries and overtime pay for city employees for the most recent fiscal year.

He's not alone in making big amounts of overtime.  The Empire Center says police officer Brian Obyrne has a base salary of $85,292 but brought home $371,381 due to overtime.

In all, more than 300 city government employees from various agencies more than doubled their pay with overtime -  over a $100,000 a year each.

Of the 313 people earning more in overtime than in their base pay, 134 worked for the Department of Correction and 41 worked for the Administration for Children's Services.

“This has been a trend in the city payroll. We need to ask why is this happening and get an answer,” said Empire Center Executive Director, Tim Hoefer, “New York City residents need to say we have to stop this.”

Mayor de Blasio, who recently announced a 10-year plan to shut down Rikers Island, said overtime in the jail system city-wide is primarily the result of deteriorating buildings.

“The challenge at the Department of Correction is an aging, deteriorating building, particularly Rikers Island needs a lot of emergency work. We are not using overtime for non-emergency work,” he said.

The Department of Corrections issued a statement saying in part, "We take the use of overtime seriously and the department has policies in place to address any nonessential overtime for both uniform and non-uniform staff."

Empire Center said it's easy to rack up big money in overtime when you get paid double-time for extra hours, working a weekend, and the holidays.  They say that, in some cases, it would be more cost effective to hire an additional employee instead of paying the overtime.

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