Government Spending

Fed Funds for More State Worker Overtime in Massachusetts

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The Boston Herald finds federal stimulus money funding state jobs programs is helping pad overtime for existing workers:

Highly touted Bay State job creation programs have stimulated a pile of pocket-padding overtime for state workers and detail pay for cops even as the unemployment rate continues to climb….

Three civil engineers with the Department of Conservation and Recreation racked up overtime tallies last year of more than $100,000 each working "night and day" on bridge projects, officials say.

One of the engineers propped up his $76,000 salary with added hours to secure a lofty $205,000 in take-home pay last year…..Two other civil engineers pocketed an extra $117,000 each in OT on top of their modest salaries.

Fiscal watchdogs said Gov. Deval Patrick's accelerated bridge program and the federal stimulus fund are to blame for exorbitant overtime pay, and nobody is watching closely enough…..

The news of the overtime bonanza hits as the state announced yesterday the January unemployment rate jumped to 9.5 percent…..

The engineers weren't alone in cornering extra hours. State troopers, always tops when it comes to police detail and overtime pay, benefited from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Detail pay has risen by some $2 million in the past fiscal year, and State Police David Procopio said.

The Boston Herald's chart of state employee salaries. Reason magazine's February cover story has more on how state workers are killing state finances.

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  1. Now a good progressive will preach to you all day about the evils of overtime in the private sector and how civilized countries like France have banned it. I guess it is different if it is done by government workers.

  2. Ye gods. You know, people always want to jump on libertarians for using words like “theft” in describing taxation. Yet has there been a time in U.S. history where the word was more apropos?

    1. Don’t you remember all of the dipshits on Hit and Run back during the run up to the stimulus taking out of their ass about “liquidity traps” and “Keynesian stimulus” and all of that? The damn thing was just a theft program for Demcoratic interests.

      1. The shit needs to stop. I don’t care who is in power.

      2. Well, John, to be fair, the stimulus program wasn’t directed at the deflationary liquidity trap. That’s what TARP was supposed to address.

        1. To quote FA Hayek (in rap form):

          And that credit crunch ain’t a liquidity trap
          Just a broke banking system, I’m done, that’s a wrap.

          TARP was addressing a myth. Even as it was supposed to work.

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  3. And it all figures into their eventual pensions too.

  4. Keep these stories coming. This is just another straw on the back of the camel.

  5. Damn. Engineers working for the .gov get paid more and get overtime? Going into the private sector just seems more and more like a bad deal.

    1. Indeed. $76k isn’t a bad salary for a civil engineer. I’m surprised they get overtime at all.

  6. Gov. Deval Patrick’s accelerated bridge program

    I’m surprised they aren’t digging more tunnels; that last one turned out so well.

  7. Hey, look, it’s another piece of evidence pointing out that government spending is a stupid stimulus and jobs program. Either it doesn’t spend fast enough, so it’s stupid, or by spending fast all you can do is put money in the hands of people who already have jobs.

    Stupid planners.

  8. “It’s inexcusable,” said a stunned state Sen. Mark C. Montigny (D-New Bedford) of the overtime.

    “There’s no excuse. In this climate, with civil engineers waiting in line for jobs, we could hire consulants,” he added. “Overtime should be frozen today with a full explanation of yesterday.”

    Nice try, but that’s reality, Sen. Montigny. You and the rest of your government pals have made it take way to long to hire and fire somebody, and of course you’ve preached about how outsourcing and consultants and contractors are bad, too. What did you think would happen?

  9. Dunno ’bout y’all but I can’t figger out hoe Joe Biden lets this kinda stuff happen.

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