NYC MTA Overtime up after Layoffs

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(Matthew Schuerman, WNYC) The MTA has been paying more overtime since it laid off 260 station agents earlier this month.

The MTA originally wanted to lay off 475 agents because of budget pressures but settled for 260 after a judge blocked the authority's plan to close some station booths open.

Maurice Jenkins, a vice president with the Transport Workers Union Local 100, says that turned out to be too many. He says overtime for the remaining station agents has increased to 140 shifts a day throughout the system, about three times what it was before. He says agents typically get 24 dollars an hour straight time, and 36 dollars an hour for overtime.

The revelations come just days after MTA Chairman Jay Walder said workers were partly responsible for causing the authority to spend half a billion dollars a year on overtime.

A spokesman for the MTA says overall staffing levels are sufficient. But he says the layoffs left open many evening and weekend shifts that have had to be filled with overtime. He predicts the overtime will subside at the end of the month when agents get reassigned to new shifts.

Accusations between the management and union officials at the MTA have increased in recent weeks because of the layoffs and other budget-cutting moves.