It’s Your Money: City shells out tens of millions of dollars in overtime pay

Local News

Overtime pay – business owners try to get rid of it, but many workers love it.  According to a new audit, the city paid $66.41 million to cover extra hours on the clock last fiscal year. 

The biggest chunk of that money went to public safety. The Honolulu Police Department reported $23.6 million in overtime pay, an increase of 10 percent from the previous year.

The audit says the increase is because of more traffic enforcement, plus extra officers for special events like the IUCN World Conservation Congress.

The Honolulu Fire Department had the second-highest amount of overtime at $16.26 million. That was nearly 30 percent more than the year before. Salary increases plus more hours for recruit training are some of the reasons for this increase.

The department with the third-highest overtime costs is the Department of Environmental Services. That department is in charge of our sewage system. It paid out nearly $10.78 million in overtime.

There were two overtime increases in the triple digits. The legislative branch, covers the offices of the Honolulu City Council, jumped 430 percent, from $9,758 to $51,679. 

But, the report says this is typical whenever there’s an election. In this case, the fiscal year covered the 2016 elections.   

The Department of Emergency Management saw an increase of 324 percent with overtime totaling $552,698. This department helps during natural disasters and also help plans for large-scale events.

Like police, the department says work on the IUCN World Conservation Congress as well as Hokulea’s homecoming upped its need for overtime.

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