A new report shows the Toronto Transit Commission spent more than $80 million on overtime last year, up $5.3 million from the year before.

The report was put together by Toronto’s auditor general, and will be presented in front of the transit board on Wednesday.

Auditor General Beverly Romeo-Beehler wrote that the TTC spent $82.8 million on overtime in 2014, due to a “mix of factors” including staff absences, unfilled vacant positions and capital projects.

Total overtime spending increased by $5.3 million from 2013 to 2014, or 6.8 per cent.

The report also looked at the number of staff members who worked enough overtime to earn an additional 50 per cent of their base pay. For example, an employee would qualify if he or she earned $50,000 for regular hours, then an additional $25,000 in overtime.

Romeo-Beehler found that 132 employees earned at least half of their annual rate in overtime payments in 2014. The number has increased by 25 per cent compared to 2013, when 106 employees were making at least 50 per cent of their base pay in overtime.

She wrote that she asked TTC managers to explain why some employees worked so many overtime hours. She was told that “absenteeism and workforce deficiencies” were key factors.

“These deficiencies have been addressed and the same level of overtime will not be required in 2015,” according to the report.

The auditor general also made the following observations when comparing 2013 to 2014:

  • Total payroll increased from $923.5 million to $960 million
  • Overtime as a per cent of annual payroll increased from 8.4 per cent to 8.6 per cent
  • Total standby pay increased from $802,000 to $867,000
  • Total mileage expenses decreased from $405,000 to $399,000
  • Total meal allowance claims increased from $281,000 to $304,000

As a result of the findings, the auditor general is working to expand the monitoring program to include staff absenteeism. She also plans to conduct a detailed investigation into long-term disability, staff overtime and absenteeism as part of a larger audit expected in early 2016.