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.