New York City firefighters racking up record overtime pay

The New York City Fire Department will seek alternative means to control the amount of overtime pay, which is on pace to near a city record, the New York Daily News reports. The department predicts that overtime pay will total more than $160 million by the end of the fiscal year in June 2011. Currently, the department faces further issues due to budgetary constraints and staffing shortages.

The amount of overtime pay is expected to surpass last June's budget by 40 percent, the Wall Street Journal reports, with the final total falling short only of 2001, when the NYFD was in crisis after the September 11 attacks.

"Our overtime budget is unusually high compared to what it was last year," Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano acknowledged at a City Council hearing Monday, according to the paper.

As the department struggles to meet the overtime requirements, it faces hiring shortages to the tune of 616 firefighters, forcing the NYFD to increase overtime schedules, the Daily News states.

Meanwhile, the New York Police Department recently announced that officers cannot earn overtime pay by picking up shifts during designated vacation days, Gothamist reports. The new enforcement is expected to save the city upwards of $4.1 million.

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