An analysis of the overtime component of New York state employees’ 2020 payroll data reveals some eye-opening overtime payouts.
Back in April, the Empire Center posted salary and total pay for individual state workers on SeeThroughNY. For some, total pay far exceeded salary. The gap was often attributable to overtime. State agencies paid $851.4 million in overtime pay during the 2020 calendar year, an $18.7 million increase from 2019.
One hundred and forty employees were paid $100,000 or more in overtime alone, including 10 court clerks.
Charmaine Beecham, an associate court clerk at the Bronx Criminal Court, was paid $104,790 in base salary in 2020, and an additional $152,980 in overtime. In 2019, Ms. Beecham was paid $67,375 in overtime, atop the same $104,790 salary. Three other Associate Court Clerks last year were paid $100,000 in overtime along with six-figure salaries.
Deborah Dlugokenski, a senior court clerk at the Brooklyn Criminal Court, more than doubled her base salary of $94,857 in 2020 with $128,531 in overtime pay. In 2019, Ms. Dlugokenski made $64,355 in overtime atop the same $94,857 salary. She was one of six Senior Court Clerks who got paid both a $94,857 salary and six-figure overtime pay.
In all, Associate Court Clerk overtime increased to $1.6 million in 2020, up from $1.4 million in 2019. Senior Court Clerk overtime increased to $5.6 million in 2020, up from $3.9 million in 2019. These hikes occurred amid closed courtrooms, trial backlogs, a shift to virtual hearings—and an overall ten percent decline in overtime across the state’s Judicial Branch.
Among all state employees, a total of 1,079 received more in overtime pay than in base pay last year. These individuals collected $17.7 million more in overtime than in salary. Fully $12,6 million of that went to employees of the Department of Corrections and the Office of Mental Health. At Corrections, those receiving more in overtime than salary were predominantly correctional officers and nurses; at Mental Health, it was security hospital treatment assistants and nurses. But they weren’t alone. A housekeeper at the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center made $71,847 more in overtime than their base salary of $42,116. Several cleaning crew members at Creedmoor and the Rockland Psychiatric Center were paid overtime amounting to more than 20 percent of their base pay.
And it wasn’t only salaried workers who got overtime pay. A total of 402 hourly workers were paid at least $10,000 in overtime last year, including 51 who received $40,000 or more.
For more information on state employee overtime pay — including totals for each executive agency — see the New York State Comptroller’s report issued earlier this year.
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