More than 120 employees of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) collected $300,000 or more during the city’s 2018 fiscal year, according to the latest payroll data added to SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website. The top 2017 paycheck at DEP was $216,112.
While many of these individuals—all stationary engineers or senior stationary engineers—racked up substantial overtime pay, the majority of these high paychecks likely came from lump sum payments agreed to in their union’s 2015 collectively bargained memorandum of agreement (MOA). This MOA expired in October 2017, so it is possible a new, yet-undisclosed agreement is also contributing to these unusually high payouts.
Citywide, 250 government employees more than doubled their pay with overtime last year. Of this group, 56 worked for the Department of Correction, and 48 worked for the Housing Authority. In fiscal 2017, a total of 313 city employees doubled their pay with overtime.
The city’s top overtime earner last year was Bhavesh N Patel, a stationary engineer in the Department of Environmental Protection who collected $237,390 for a total city paycheck of $539,098. A total of 140 employees were paid over $100,000 in overtime; among them, 45 worked for the Department of Correction.
The overtime counts do not include payments to undercover law enforcement officers. The Empire Center has sued the city Office of Payroll Administration for access to amounts paid to those individuals on an anonymous, identity-protected basis.
The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.