• Around 94 employees of New York's Department of Sanitation earned more than $100,000 in overtime pay last year
  • The total overtime pay for the department jumped from $151 million in 2020 to $283 million last year 
  • The increase was attributed to staff shortages, delays in hiring replacements and heavy snowfall last year

Job seekers in New York may want to start considering applying for the city's Department of Sanitation (DSNY) after it was revealed that nearly 100 of the department's garbage collectors and supervisors netted six-digit overtime pays last year, pushing some annual salaries close to $300,000, according to payroll records.

Around 94 DSNY employees earned more than $100,00 in overtime pay last year, compared to the two sanitation workers who received six figures during the fiscal year 2020 and the zero workers in the year before that, The New York Post reported.

All of the 10 top earners were supervisors with a base pay of $108,846, according to the outlet.

Christopher Tamas, a Bronx supervisor hired in 2000, hauled a salary of $299,160 last year after netting the DSNY's top overtime pay of $170,883 and $17,967 in other pay.

Brooklyn supervisor John Sarno, who joined the DSNY in 1997, came second among the highest OT earners for the department with his $164,673 worth of overtime pay, which pushed his salary last year to $293,838.

Queens supervisor Joseph Polidoro, meanwhile, was shocked to know that he was the 3rd highest overtime earner in the DSNY last year after netting $161,609 in OT pay, accounting for more than half of his $281,540 salary.

"How's that possible...? I'm going to be honest with you, that's completely wrong. I can't imagine how I'd be No. 3. That doesn’t make sense. I’m nowhere near what other people do, I believe. I know it’s all hearsay, but if that’s accurate, I’m truly surprised." Polidoro was quoted as saying.

The DSNY's 86% increase in total overtime pay — from $151 million in fiscal year 2020 to $283 million last year — was the highest jump for the past fiscal year when compared to the city's other uniformed services, according to an analysis by Albany-based think tank Empire Center for Public Policy.

The "chronically high absenteeism and inefficient work union rules" in the department contributed to the "excessive overtime pay levels,” Peter Warren, the nonprofit's research director, said.

A representative for the DSNY claimed the wage boost for the workers was the result of staffing shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic, delays in hiring replacements and heavy snowfall last year.

Around 25% of DSNY workers were out due to positive COVID-19 diagnosis of suspected contact at one point last year, which required "significant overtime, particularly from supervisors and superintendents, who worked 12-hour shifts throughout much of the year to cover pandemic-related staff shortages without a service disruption," department representative Joshua Goodman explained.

Aside from that, the DSNY did not conduct its annual hiring promotion classes in the summer of 2020 amid the pandemic, which reduced staffing levels.

Additionally, massive overtime was required after the city was hit with 25 inches of snow during back-to-back storms in the winter of last year.

"When there are fewer staff, the amount of work does not change — and so the people working must work overtime," Goodman said.

Representation. The New York City Department of Sanitation's total overtime pay jumped by 86% from $151 million in fiscal year 2020 to $283 last year. Pixabay