The city doled out $1.9 billion in overtime pay last year, up 4.3 percent from the year before, new data show.
OT made up 10 to 23 percent of the payroll of many city agencies, according to an analysis by the Empire Center for Public Policy, a government watchdog.
“When overtime is 20 percent, or even 10 percent of total pay, that’s certainly alarming,” said the group’s executive director, Tim Hoefer. “Budgeting for some overtime is proper financial management, but as these numbers continue to climb, it’s more important that we scrutinize those management practices.”
The Board of Elections, which, unlike uniformed agencies, does not respond to emergencies, paid $8.9 million in OT in fiscal year 2017, or 21 percent of its payroll.
That percentage was second only to the Correction Department’s 23 percent in OT, or $278 million, for workers in city jails.
The FDNY was third with 19 percent, or $345.5 million, in OT.
The NYPD shelled out the most OT — $767 million — but the sum represented a smaller chunk of its payroll, 14 percent.
A spokesman said that figure includes retroactive OT due under union agreements, and that last year’s OT total was $581 million.
The Department of Transportation paid $65.4 million in overtime, also 14 percent.
The city launched an investigation into the DOT last year after 32 of its employees collected more than $100,000 each in OT in fiscal 2015. One of them, David Russell, then a supervisor of highway repairers with a $82,000 base salary, took home $274,352.
But Russell made only $109,500 last fiscal year. The DOT said he was demoted to highway repairer and stripped of supervisory duties.
“DOT monitors overtime throughout the year and continues to implement reductive measures,” said spokesman Scott Gastel.
Maintenance workers have cashed in at the Housing Authority, which spent $88 million in OT, or 12 percent of payroll.
“We’re only able to operate without overtime between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.,” said spokeswoman Zodet Negron. “We pay a premium for work outside those hours to respond to emergencies.”
The Sanitation Department, which paid $131.4 million in OT, 14 percent of payroll, blamed Mother Nature, citing 13 snow alerts.
“The department incurred extensive overtime this winter as our workers fought snow and ice storms — and the eventual challenge of catching up with the tens of thousands of tons of trash and recycling that went uncollected,” said spokesman Vito Turso.