The numbers are startling: A number of Metro employees made $20,000 to $30,000 in overtime pay in just the first two months of the year. Some Metro employees are logging so much overtime that they are essentially working a second full-time job.
Despite a $66 million projected budget shortfall for fiscal year 2012, a number of Metro employees are permitted to work extensive overtime.
The Washington Examiner reports that a Metro construction inspector logged more than 550 hours of overtime during the first two months of the year. That's the equivalent of working 16 hours every day. The inspector earned more than $32,000 in extra pay.
According to Metro figures, the top five overtime earners were track work supervisors and construction inspectors. As first reported by the Washington Examiner, these employees raked in between $17,000 and $32,000 in overtime pay.
Rider Larussia Wilkins is irate: in light of recent rate hikes, ongoing safety concerns and possible service cuts, "that's too much money," she said.
A Metro spokesperson says the transit agency's $5 billion capital improvement program is the primary reason for inflated overtime figures. An escalator replacement project at the Foggy Bottom station is one of those projects.
"Employees are working days, nights, weekends and holidays on equipment and infrastructure that is being rehabilitated to support a safer, more reliable system," a Metro spokesperson said.
"You see all this construction but don't see any improvements," said Tom Sicola, a Metro rider.
"Who is being jipped? Is the public being jipped or is Metro getting fat off our money? You do the math," said rider Tony Allen.
A spokesperson confirms that Metro has already surpassed its overtime budget for this fiscal year. That budget was $48 million.