LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – In the past five years, the city of Los Angeles has spent more than $2 billion in overtime payments for city workers, according to a report released Wednesday.
City Controller Ron Galperin published the report that not only looked at overtime trends, but also made recommendations for the city to decrease its overtime spending — including better monitoring of overtime hours.
According to the report, in the last fiscal year alone, 53% of city employees worked overtime — collecting $470 million for 8.59 million hours of overtime. Leading the charge were employees of the Los Angeles Fire Department and the Los Angeles Police Department, who together were responsible for roughly 75% of overtime spending.
In those two departments, 91% of employees clocked overtime hours in the past fiscal year. Eighteen firefighters made more than $200,000 in overtime pay and 11 civilians made more than $100,000 in overtime pay. One firefighter finished the year with 5,616 hours of overtime, and a city traffic officer reported 3,702 hours of overtime.
In the report, Galperin noted that the highest percentage of overtime pay came during the city’s response to the devastating Woolsey Fire, which burned for more than two weeks last November in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. Galperin also said that the city has fewer firefighters and police officers per capita than other major cities in the United States, meaning there are more hours to be worked by those who are on staff.
In his recommendations, Galperin urged city leaders to scale back on overtime pay by looking into the adoption of overtime caps such as the ones adopted by city officials in San Francisco and New York.
The figures in the report do not account for overtime worked by employees of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, since that department uses a separate payroll system.