New Jersey Transit paid more than $4 million for unused sick and vacation time for nonunion workers last year.
That's higher than the $3.67 million the agency spent in 2010 despite a policy to rein in the payments.
Salary records obtained by the Asbury Park Press show 736 NJ Transit employees collected more than $2.58 million in unused vacation time and more than $1.5 million in sick time last year.
Under a revised policy, current nonunion NJ Transit employees may collect up to $15,000 in unused sick time when they retire. The payout for sick leave was eliminated for new hires starting this year.
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New employees can't bank and cash in unused sick and vacation time over the course of a career.
“The majority of the unscheduled overtime increase is due to our agreement (union) employees working round the clock, managing the extreme weather New Jersey faced in 2011,” spokeswoman Penny Bassett-Hackett told the Press. “Some of the costs are eligible for reimbursement through FEMA and Homeland Security funding.”