Report: Employees get huge checks from OT

June 30, 2008 7:22:27 PM PDT
As the state of California struggles with a massive budget deficit, a new analysis of the state salary database finds some serious problems when it comes to overtime pay.

Senior nurse Lina Manglicmot's base pay of $108,000 last year at a state prison in Monterey County, grew by another whopping $198,000 because of overtime, boosting her total wages to more than $300,000.

Lt. Darvin Diede upped his $99,000 base pay at a different prison in Tuolumne County by $141,000 in OT, making his total earnings $240,000.

San Francisco CHP Officer Gary Loo bumped his $90,000 pay up another $112,000, pushing his checks up to more than $200,000.

In these tough economic times when the state faces a multi-billion dollar deficit, Governor Schwarzenegger says he vows to do better.

A San Francisco Chronicle analysis of the entire salary database found the state paid out more than a $1 billion in overtime, with about 100 workers earning six-figures in overtime alone.

"We're short of workers. If you hire more workers, then you expand government. We have a budget crisis. So you don't want to do that. But we're going to work on that and make sure to rein those costs in," said Gov. Schwarzenegger.

But the largest union of state workers who rallied for a raise today says the overtime shows they are over-worked.

"That points to my mind mismanagement, that they have not hired enough people to get the job done," said SEIU Local 1,000 President Yvonne Walker.

Some government watchdog groups say more accountability is needed when spending taxpayer money.

"State managers need to be looking at their overtime costs and be held accountable for those," said Derek Cressman from California Common Cause.

One of the biggest overtime gobblers is prisons, because by law every practically every position must be filled with a body for safety reasons. Corrections said its overtime is bound to shrink, except for medical staff. The thousands of job openings it had is virtually down to zero.


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