State Employee Overtime Totals $266M in 2022

08.10.2022
Economy

Connecticut spent nearly $266 million on state employee overtime in fiscal year 2022—the most on record.

The overtime spending represents an 11% ($26.1 million) increase over last fiscal year. 

Overtime-Spending-080822

The General Assembly’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis’ quarterly report shows average per-employee overtime increased $1,241 over the same time last year.

State agency overtime spending peaked at $256.1 million initially in 2015, falling to $219 million in 2016, and a record low $204.4 million in 2017.

Overtime spending has increased each year since, reaching a new peak in 2022.

Taxpayer Implications

Overtime spending can have significant implications for taxpayers.

Overtime is among the factors considered in calculating state employee pensions.

Skyrocketing spending drives up the state’s long-term liabilities.

The CREATES report identifies a number of solutions to ease the burden on Connecticut residents.

The March 2021 CREATES report, commissioned by the Lamont administration to evaluate workforce efficiencies and potential spending reductions identifies a number of solutions to ease the burden on Connecticut residents.

The report notes the state could generate $70 million to $100 million in cost savings per year by capping pensionable overtime, modernizing workforce management, improving hiring processes, and by strengthening overtime oversight and workers’ compensation practices.

‘Point of No Return’

CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima said a prompt implementation of these CREATES report recommendations is needed.

“We are quickly approaching a point of no return on state overtime spending,” DiPentima said.

“This latest report from the OFA highlights the urgency with which we must approach this issue.

CBIA’s Chris DiPentima

“This latest report from the OFA highlights the urgency with which we must approach this issue.”

“The CREATES report outlines critical cost savings and we have seen the positive effects – providing better service with less resources – with the modernization of systems and processes at DOL, DRS, and DMV.

“It is time to adopt the recommendations across all state agencies and make state government workforce practices more efficient.”

DOC Leads All Agencies

Five agencies account for more than 92% of all overtime spending for FY 2022.

The Department of Correction leads all agencies, spending $94.31 million, a 2.9% increase over FY 2021.

This comes despite the state’s number of incarcerated inmates being at a three-decade low.

DepartmentFY 2022 Overtime*FY 2021 Overtime**$ Difference% Difference
Correction$94.31 million$91.64 million$2.66 million2.9%
Mental Health & Addiction Services$53.6 million$50.91 million$2.7 million5.3%
Developmental Services$42.85 million$37.24 million$5.62 million15.1%
Emergency Services & Public Protection$37.92 million$32.15 million$5.78 million18%
Children & Families$17.56 million$10.77 million$6.79 million63%

The state’s prison population has also declined 31% since 2017, but overtime spending has risen 34%.

“A great step to lower spending is to boost our staffing at the Department of Corrections and state police,” DiPentima said.

“Both are chronically understaffed and play a major role in the uncontrolled spending.”

Increases

Overtime spending increased 5.3% to $53.6 million for FY 2022 at the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and 15.1% to $42.85 million at the Department of Developmental Services.

The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection—where the CREATES report also recommended addressing staffing levels—saw an 18% increase, while the Department of Children & Families posted a 63% jump.

Year-to-date overtime increased 739.4% at the Division of Criminal Justice—the largest percentage increase of any agency—372.3% at the Agricultural Experiment Station, and 122.1% at the Secretary of the State’s office.

Through June, the state paid 18,341 employees overtime—up 249 from the same period in 2021—with an average payment of $14,503, up 9%.

DESPP employees were paid an average of $28,194 in overtime—the highest of any agency, followed by the DMHAS ($22,665), the DDS ($21,632), and the DOC ($18,741).

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