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.
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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.
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.”