Surge in State Overtime Spending Undermines Fiscal Stability Efforts
Overtime spending for Connecticut state employees increased by almost 14% through the second quarter of fiscal 2018.
The state Office of Fiscal Analysis’ latest quarterly report shows overtime spending hit $115.2 million in the first half of the year, a $13.9 million increase over the first six months of fiscal 2017.
CBIA economist Pete Gioia says the state is on pace to exceed $230 million in overtime spending this year, a significant jump after costs fell to a six-year low of $204.4 million in 2017.”
Overtime spending is a significant issue for state government,” Gioia said. “That’s why the General Assembly demanded this report in the 2016 special session.
“Unfortunately, the latest report shows an alarming reversal in the state’s efforts to effectively control overtime costs.”
Gioia said state government’s failure to control overtime spending has significant short-term and long-term fiscal consequences for Connecticut.
“We’re already facing a $220 million-plus deficit for this year and this surge in spending will further blow that out,” he said.
“And because overtime is allowed as a factor in calculating state employee pensions, the failure to curb spending drives up the state’s long-term liabilities.”
Overtime spending declined in both 2016 and 2017 after hitting an all-time high of $256.1 million in 2015.
Five state agencies account for over 93% of all overtime spending. All five saw spending increases through the first half of this fiscal year.
At $6.6 million, the Department of Correction saw the biggest jump in dollar terms, while Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection overtime spending rose 28%, the largest percentage increase.
|Department||FY 2018 Overtime*||FY 2017 Overtime*||$ Difference||% Difference|
|Correction||$36.03 million||$29.4 million||$6.63 million||22.5%|
|Mental Health & Addiction Services||$26.27 million||$23.9 million||$2.36 million||9.9%|
|Developmental Services||$22.52 million||$22.08 million||$498,054||2.3%|
|Emergency Services & Public Protection||$12.03 million||$9.38 million||$2.66 million||28.3%|
|Children & Families||$11.3 million||$10.11 million||$1.2 million||11.8%|
Claims Down, Spending Up
Outside the top five, all remaining agencies spent $7.1 million on overtime through the first two quarters, a 6.5% increase over the same period last year.
“Eight of the top 10 state agency users of overtime had increases from 2.3% to 62% compared to fiscal 2017,” Gioia said.
Spending rose for the first half of the fiscal year despite 422 fewer state employees claiming overtime.
Overall, 15,305 state employees claimed overtime at an average $7,528 per employee.
DMHAS employees had the highest average payout through the first six months, with 2,153 workers averaging $12,201 in overtime.
One Connecticut State Library employee was paid $7,377 overtime in the first quarter of the year and $5,199 in the second quarter.
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