Connecticut has spent $13.9 million more in overtime for state employees during the first half of this new fiscal year than it did in 2017, according to a report by the Office of Fiscal Analysis. Connecticut had been making headway in reducing overtime spending since a high of $256.1 million in 2015. In 2017, Connecticut spent a total of $204.4 million.
As Gov. Dannel Malloy delivered his state of the state address, which highlighted Connecticut’s growing deficit problem, the Office of Fiscal Analysis released it second-quarter report on state agency overtime spending. So far, Connecticut agencies - particularly the Department of Correction - have spent 14.7 percent less on overtime payments than the second quarter of last year. The DOC is consistently the biggest driver of overtime but managed to reduce their payments by $8.2 million.
Several state union representatives spent more than half of the year working for their unions while still getting paid by the state, driving up overtime costs and putting an extra burden on the state budget. The year of 2015 contained 261 working days but Ronald J. McLellan, president of the Connecticut Employees Union Independent SEIU local 511, spent 201 of those days on union leave. He earned $111,000 in pay and fringe benefits from the state while working for the union, and continued to keep his title of lead power plant operator at Central Connecticut State University.
The Department of Motor Vehicles, which recently saw its commissioner resign amid serious customer service problems, spent $1.9 million on overtime in the first six months of fiscal year 2016, already exceeding the $1.7 million spent in 2015. DMV overtime is only likely to increase with a backlog of hundreds of thousands of requests. Gov. Dannel Malloy recently appointed Dennis Murphy, former deputy commissioner of the Labor Department, to replace Andres Ayala as DMV commissioner.
Connecticut spent $119 million on state employee overtime during the first six months of fiscal year 2016, but that number does not include overtime for employees in the Departments of Transportation or Motor Vehicles. Citing “availability” and “reliability” issues with the data, the Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA) said it could only provide overtime numbers for employees paid through the state’s General Fund. That rules out DOT or DMV employees, who are paid through the Special Transportation Fund.