Connecticut spent $204.4 million on state employee overtime payments in fiscal 2017, the lowest level since 2011.
Overtime costs fell 6.7% from the previous fiscal year after declining 14.5% in 2015, according to a report released this week by the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis.
FY 2017 marked the second consecutive annual decline after the General Assembly approved a measure requiring OFA to regularly report on the use of overtime.
State government agencies spent an all-time high $256.1 million on overtime in 2015.
In fiscal 2017, 17,504 state workers—1,326 or 7% less than last year—accumulated overtime, with an average payout of $11,675 per worker.
Five state agencies were responsible for 93% of all overtime spending, led by the Department of Correction.
Of those five, all but the Department of Children and Families cut overtime costs:
- Department of Correction: $62.1 million ($68 million in fiscal 2016)
- Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services: $48 million ($50.6 million)
- Department of Developmental Services: $43.6 million ($45.1 million)
- Department of Children and Families: $21.7 million ($19.8 million)
- Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection: $15 million ($18.5 million)
- All others: $14 million ($17 million)
Overtime spending has a major impact on the state's fiscal health, inflating pensions and adding to retirement costs.
Three agencies had no overtime spending: the Division of Criminal Justice, the African-American Affairs Commission, and the Teacher's Retirement Board.
State overtime spending has a major impact on Connecticut's fiscal health.
CBIA and the Connecticut Institute for the 21st Century pushed for pension reform this legislative session, including not counting overtime pay as wages in the last three years prior to retirement—the years on which pension calculations are based.
Factoring in overtime inflates pensions while adding to the overall cost of Connecticut's state employee retirement system, with unfunded liabilities now at $83.3 billion, or $23,294 per capita.
Controlling state employee pensions and retiree benefits—among the highest in the country—is a fiscal and economic imperative, with Connecticut facing a two-year, $5.1 billion budget deficit.
The $1.5 billion deal Governor Malloy's administration reached with union leaders in May includes a three-year wage freeze and healthcare benefit concessions, but not overtime reform.
Union members are expected to vote on the agreement July 17.
Republican lawmakers have released budget proposals calling for at least $2 billion in union concessions, including replacing overtime payments with comp time.