State Employee Overtime on Record $311M Pace
Employee overtime cost Connecticut state agencies $77.9 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2023, an 11.3% increase over the same period last year.
That’s on pace to hit a record $311.6 million for the year—$45.6 million or 17% more than in 2022, when agencies set a new annual high for overtime spending.
Overtime costs hit a 10-year low in 2017, following passage of legislation requiring quarterly disclosures of agency spending.
Since then, however, costs have increased every year, hitting $228.2 million in 2018, $234.3 million in 2019, $234.9 in 2020, and $239.9 million the following year before spiking in 2022.
Overtime spending has significant implications for taxpayers as overtime is among the factors used for calculating state employee pensions.
Connecticut spends a higher share of payroll on overtime than neighboring states, according to the March 2021 CREATES report commissioned by the Lamont administration to evaluate workforce efficiency and identify potential spending reductions.
Overtime costs account for over 11% of Connecticut’s total state payroll, compared with 5% in Massachusetts, 4.7% in New York, and New Jersey’s 4.2%.
The report outlines $70 million to $100 million in annual cost savings through capping pensionable overtime, modernizing workforce management, improving hiring processes, and strengthening overtime oversight and workers’ compensation practices.
Overtime Spending: Top Five Agencies
|Department||FY 2023 Overtime*||FY 2022 Overtime**||$ Difference||% Difference|
|Correction||$27.44 million||$23.48 million||$3.96 million||16.8%|
|Mental Health & Addiction Services||$15.73 million||$13.93 million||$1.79 million||12.9%|
|Emergency Services & Public Protection||$12.01 million||$12.39 million||($386,600)||-3.1%|
|Developmental Services||$11.76 million||$11.66 million||$106,274||0.9%|
|Children & Families||$4.46 million||$4.18 million||$278,275||6.9%|
*July 1, 2022-Sept. 30, 2022. **July 1, 2021-Sept. 30, 2021. Source: State Office of Fiscal Analysis.
The Office of Fiscal Analysis’ quarterly report shows five state agencies accounted for 92% of all overtime spending through the first quarters of fiscal 2023 and fiscal 2022.
The Department of Correction led all agencies, spending $27.44 million in the first quarter, a 16.8% increase over the same period last year.
DOC also accounted for $94.31 million—35%—of all state employee overtime spending in fiscal 2021.
While the state’s prison population has declined 31% to a three-decade low since 2017, DOC overtime spending has risen 34%.
The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services spent $15.73 million on overtime in the first quarter, a 12.9% increase over the same period in 2021.
The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection saw a 3.1% decrease, the Department of Developmental Services posted a 0.9% increase, and overtime costs rose 6.9% at the Department of Children and Families.
First quarter overtime spending at all other state agencies increased $2.15 million (50%) to $6.47 million.
The Department of Social Services posted the largest increase of those agencies, with quarterly overtime costs soaring 498% to $2.7 million.
First quarter overtime increased 2,147% at the State Elections Enforcement Commission—the largest percentage increase of any agency—293% at Department of Aging and Disability Services, 255% in the Attorney General’s office, and 207% at the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.
The Teachers Retirement Board (-100%), the Department of Education (-94%), the Secretary of the State’s office (-83%), and the Department of Labor (-82%) posted the largest percentage declines.
Through September, 13,815 state employees were paid overtime—down 539 from the same period in 2021—with an average payment of $5,637, up more than 15% from the same period last year.
DESPP employees were paid an average $11,695 in overtime—the highest of any agency—followed by DMHAS ($8,607), DDS ($7,674), DOC ($6,572), and the Department of Legislative Management, where 29 workers earned an average $3,822.
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