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MTA chairman calls Friday board meeting to discuss overtime

Patrick Foye called for an internal investigation of high overtime rates after Albany-based Empire Center for Public Policy reported a Long Island Rail Road employee made $344,147 in OT last year.

Patrick Foye presides over his first Metropolitan Transportation

Patrick Foye presides over his first Metropolitan Transportation Authority meeting as chairman in Manhattan on April 17. Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin

The MTA will convene a special meeting of its board Friday to address the issue of excessive overtime worked by some of its employees, officials said Wednesday.

The meeting, to be held at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Manhattan headquarters at 4 p.m., comes as the agency continues to deal with the backlash from a report released last month that revealed alarming overtime rates.

The authority's top earner in 2018, Long Island Rail Road chief measurement officer Thomas Caputo, made $344,147 in overtime last year on top of his base salary of $117,499, according to the Empire Center for Public Policy, a nonprofit based in Albany.

MTA chairman Patrick Foye, responding to the controversy, called last week for an internal investigation into the high overtime rates, and asked MTA inspector general Barry Kluger to conduct his own probe.

"The issues of excessive overtime and the inadequacy of the MTA time and attendance systems must be addressed, which is why last week I ordered an immediate investigation into these matters and why I am convening a special board meeting on this issue this coming Friday," Foye said in a statement Wednesday. "Overtime is an important and useful tool as we urgently seek to modernize our entire system, but we must be sure it is being used effectively, accurately and appropriately.”

Anthony Simon, general chairman of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Union — the LIRR’s largest labor organization — said last week it was up to MTA management to prioritize its needs. The LIRR’s increased overtime comes as the agency has taken on several infrastructure projects to expand capacity and reverse failing service, Simon said.

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