Muni paid more overtime than the fire and police departments in the city. The agency went $18 million dollars over budget last year. And a few employees took home more than $100,000 in overtime pay alone.
An overhaul of Muni's train control system was needed to make service more streamlined and reliable. But the overnight work and double shifts by a few specialized employees led some to go home with overtime that more than doubled their salaries.
"Sometimes it's required that people work a full day and then work a full night," Muni spokesperson Paul Rose said. "It's hard work, it's needed work, but it's something that needed to be done."
One Muni mechanic logged 1,954 hours of overtime, at $83.85 an hour. With $163,000 in overtime and add-ons, his base salary of $106,000 jumped to $293,000 for the year.
"I want to change my job, any openings?" Muni rider Peter McDevitt said. "I know in these days it's tough to see that happening, especially when people are still looking for jobs."
In the 2011-2012 fiscal year, the transit agency paid $55.7 million in OT. That's $18 million over budget. Ten Muni supervisors made more than $100,000 in overtime. Some shocked Muni riders think it's a case of bad financial planning, or lack thereof.
"Well, I'm astonished," Muni rider Justine Tideman said. "My niece is actually a Muni driver and I haven't heard anything like that. Doesn't really sound like it is getting spread out across Muni, so that's a pity."
MTA is closely monitoring overtime now, and is working proactively to minimize it.
"At this time last year, we expected OT to be about $52 million, and at this point this year, we expect it to be about $42 million, and that's a 20 percent reduction," Rose said.
Rose also said that to further curb overtime the MTA is training more people to do more jobs so that when emergencies arise, one person isn't doing all that work and racking up astronomical overtime anymore.