The MTA has started to crack down on excessive overtime and sick day abuse in hopes of saving $22 million this year and a further $60 million in 2011, officials said Thursday.

“There is a certain percentage of employees … who wake up in the morning and say ‘I don’t feel like working today,’” said Thomas Prendergast, president of NYC Transit.

The MTA shells out $560 million a year in overtime, the equivalent of paying 7,000 extra full-time people, MTA officials said. Some of the overtime is necessary, but officials said that more than $400 million is used in “unplanned ways,” like:

- An MTA Bridges and Tunnels employee who doubled his pension through overtime.

- Queens bus drivers getting 12.5 hours pay for driving eight hours by working the morning and evening rush hours with a long break in between.

- A quarter of transit’s employees taking at least 15 paid and unpaid sick days a year.

MTA officials pledged to step up their oversight of sick time and overtime and will speak with transit unions to try and change work rules.

John Samuelsen, president of the Transport Workers Union Local 100, said that if the MTA wants to crackdown on overtime, they should stop offering so much of it. “We’re not slackers. We're not sick-time abusers. We’re the ones who move this city,” he said.


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$800 million the MTA deficit

$560 million the amount the MTA pays in overtime annually