The union argued that while sergeants are guaranteed overtime under their collective-bargaining agreement, the OT often must be approved ahead of time and that, even then, the workers are persuaded to accept time in lieu of cash or to not even file overtime requests at all.
The sergeants said that when they accepted the deal of time-and-a-half comp instead of cash, they still often had difficulty getting time-off requests approved because the department was operating with reduced staffing levels.
As a result, many ex-sergeants left the NYPD with more than the maximum 480 hours of "compensatory time" the city is required to pay for in cash, meaning they often had to "eat" hundreds of hours of additional comp time for which they were never reimbursed, sources say.
Bush "first responder" embrace will cost NY
New York City will have to pay out tens of millions of dollars to thousands of current and retired cops under a recent U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that would entitle the city's police sergeants to overtime. We have the Bush Administration to thank for this one: apparently, the court was heavily influenced by an amicus brief from former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao. Under political pressure from labor unions, Chao promulgated rules in 2004 extending the overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act to apply to a broad swath of "first responders," including police and firefighters holding supervisory and management titles.
NYPD sergeants made average annual base pay of about $90,000 as of 2009, according to payroll records at SeeThroughNY.net. And on top of that, these cops already receive some overtime. As reported in today's New York Post:
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