MTA official: 85% of rail workers have used time clock system designed to keep OT in check

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority was supposed to get a better handle on overtime for its workers including on the Long Island Rail Road, but a new report says that's not the case.

MTA Inspector General Carolyn Pokorney said workers clocked in $1.3 billion in overtime in 2019, mostly on an “honor system” with little verification.

In turn, the MTA said by mid-January of this year it would roll out a modern fingerprint- based timeclock system to keep that overtime in check.

Today MTA Inspector General Carolyn Pokorney announced that deadline has been missed, and that 85% of employees were able to use the clocks as of Jan. 15.

She added, "The riders and taxpayers deserve to know how the MTA's overtime reforms are going. Honesty and transparency are key to developing public trust and confidence in our transportation system."

Anthony Simon, the LIRR's top union official said Tuesday Pokorney should check the number again.

"At this point right now, we're at 95%. We agree that we should be transparent. We agree that we should have better accountability, but don't forget during all this, we're also delivering on major projects,” Simon said. "I think the railroad, to their credit, had their hands full with projects going on and we delivered on every project. So maybe that slowed it down some."

As News 12 has reported, 26 of the LIRR's top earners made more than $300,000 in overtime in 2018.

According to the MTA, the price tag to have the clocks systemwide and hire personnel to install them is around $24 million.

The agency, however, has not yet released any figures as to how much money they predict the clocks will save.

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