May 01, 2019

Statement by MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye on Investigation Into Dramatically Increased Overtime Payments:

The recent reports on excessive overtime payments throughout our system are extremely concerning.  Some overtime is to be expected at any public transit agency, in order to keep up with critical repairs and maintenance, especially at a time of extraordinary work being done around the system. But the accumulation of so many hours of overtime raises serious questions, including potential safety issues such as exhaustion. 

Today I am taking several actions in order to address my concern and the public’s concerns about this issue, and to address this growing problem.  

First I am directing the presidents of the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, and New York City Transit to do a full review of overtime procedures and regulations currently in place. It is important that we are doing everything we can to carry out the work of the MTA efficiently and cost effectively. We have strict procedures and regulations in place regarding scheduling and payment of overtime. Those procedures either must be followed or we need to implement stronger rules on day to day procedures. 

I am asking the presidents to review specifically the last 12 months of overtime claims and payments to ensure all were earned and appropriate. If this investigation suggests we need to look back farther than 12 months, we will do so. 

I have asked the presidents to complete this work within 60 days. Once this review is completed, the findings will be presented to the board and made public.

I am also requesting the Inspector General’s office complete their own full review of excessive overtime payouts to ensure that they were appropriately planned for, scheduled, signed off upon, and that the claimed hours were in fact worked.

Finally, the MTA will, over the next 30 days, review all time and attendance verification systems at each of our facilities. It is critically important that work hours and attendance be reported accurately.  These findings will also be presented to the board and to the public. 

The MTA is funded by taxpayers and is responsible for the safe transport of millions of people each day. It is critical that we earn and maintain the public trust, every day.  Ensuring that every dollar spent on overtime is in fact being spent properly is part of that mission.  
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