MTA workers

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MTA Abandons Effort To Police Workers Amid Overtime Abuse Allegations

May 25, 2019 - 2:26 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- MTA leadership has stopped using transit cops to watch over employees clocking in and out in a bid to curb overtime abuse.

The idea to watch over workers came about as the MTA was embroiled in allegations of overtime abuse by employees.

Some at the agency thought the best way to curb it was to police their own employees, sending officers to facilities to watch workers clock in and out.

MTA Chairman Pat Foye said it didn't appear to be a systemic problem.

"You're going to have lots of fine, upstanding people. And you're going to have a very small minority of people who, sadly, cheat," Foye said.

But the transport workers union, TWU Local 100, was not pleased.

“Any transit worker, any railroad worker, that does a lick more than they have to do for you, after you send armed cops into our work places, is crazy,” said TWU President John Samuelsen.

Related: Study Finds MTA Worker Made $379,000 With OT

Earlier this month, MTA leadership had considered backing off the idea, according to the Daily News.

Now the MTA has stopped the practice, and the change of events is being welcomed by union leadership, which said in a statement that it never should have happened in the first place. 

"The Chairman had police officers standing watch over workers like prison guards over inmates. He treated his employees like convicted criminals," part of the statement read.

At the same time, multiple reports indicate that the MTA’s longtime inspector general, Barry Kluger, is retiring.

Kluger's office recently opened an investigation into the agency’s overtime practice.

The transit union says most of the overtime is needed to get the system back into a state of good repair.