Overtime costs are rising in the NYC Department of Health, Electoral Board


New data shows that the cost of overtime at the city’s Department of Health and Mental Health and the Electoral Commission skyrocketed over the past year.

In the health department – whose budget includes the office of chief physician – overtime increased in fiscal year 2021, which ended on 30.

Meanwhile, the OT costs rose by 85 percent in the contested electoral board, which came under fire for a failed counting of votes in the democratic primary for the mayor’s office.

Last week, the Post reported an 86 percent increase in overtime costs in the plumbing department, with the number of workers amassing more than $ 100,000 in OT rising from two to 94 in one year.

The number of employees in the Department of Health’s agencies who handled more than $ 100,000 in OT rose from 7 to 21.

“You want to look at those overtime numbers, but it was a special time,” said Andrew Rein, president of the Citizens Budget Commission’s watchdog group, referring to the OT costs incurred by the health authority during the extraordinary coronavirus pandemic.

Stationary engineers for the coroner’s office – the people who deal with boilers, heating, and ventilation – greatly improved their financial prospects.

The Post reported an 86 percent increase in overtime costs in the plumbing department.
AP Photo / Bebeto Matthews, File

The king of overtime was engineer Michael Mcgroarty, whose total salary was $ 411,222, thanks to a profit of $ 239,929 in OT on top of his base salary of $ 132,288 and $ 40,105 in “other salaries.”

In comparison, the salary of Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi $ 243,171.

Another engineer, Patrick Hallahan, also topped more than $ 400,000 in total thanks to $ 218,628 in OT and $ 56,616 in other benefits.

The Department of Health and Coroner’s Office defended the OT blast as necessary in an unprecedented year as the coronavirus pandemic devastated the city’s population.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented our city and our Department of Health with unprecedented challenges who have worked around the clock for the past two years to keep our city safe and healthy,” said Health Department spokesman Michael Lanza.

Plant engineers employed by medical examiners set up OT to operate four makeshift units. 24-hour portable morgues set up to handle an “unprecedented” surge in deaths from COVID, spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said.

She said that the chief medical officer was able to have the costs of operating the morgues reimbursed by the Federal Office for Emergency Management.

“Each of the portable disaster morgues were operational 24/7 and required on-site assistance from our existing stationary engineers to ensure continuity of operations,” said Bolcer.

The engineers’ duties included maintaining on-site emergency power generators, water supplies, and HVAC systems, in addition to their usual job of operating and maintaining all of the agency’s other facilities and specialized medical and scientific buildings, including forensic pathology centers with autopsy rooms and advanced laboratories and administrative offices of the agencies. “

NYC Health Commissioner Dr.  Dave A. Chokshi
NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi is $ 243,171.

Empire Center analysis showed that the same employees who continually top up OT on the electoral board made even more last year.

Systems analyst Antonio Ortiz, Jr., counted $ 217,916 in OT to bring his total salary to $ 337.56 after making $ 164,000 in OT the previous year.

The third highest OT earner at the BOE was administrative clerk Samuel Alvin, an ex-inmate who spent six years in jail for armed robbery of a shop clerk killed in the process.

Samuels grabbed $ 158,585 in OT to bring his total wage to $ 268,449. That’s $ 51,000 more than the $ 107,000 in OT he made last year.

The reins of the participatory budgeting commission said high overtime costs in the electoral authority are raising the flag.

“When you see such high rates of overtime, that certainly raises a question,” said Rein.

“The question for the future is, should there be a staffing adjustment?”

Rein also noted, however, that the election agency had taken on more responsibility to cast votes in the polling stations around nine days early and to introduce ranking lists for the first time in primary elections.

The BOE defended the reliance on overtime required during the pandemic as the agency took on more duties.

“Our electoral committee staff are key contributors who deserve praise for working tirelessly throughout the pandemic to hold the elections in New York City,” said BOE spokeswoman Valerie Diaz.

“2021 brought us four special elections, each with nine days of early voting, a mayor’s area code and parliamentary elections. We thank our employees for their commitment to the voters of New York City. “

The OT’s top earners could not be reached or declined to comment.


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