Friday, June 3, 2011

LIRR conductor who retired in April,2010 earned $239,148 - Here you go your LIRR fare hike question answered !

Wonder why a round trip to City in LIRR cost your so much ? LIRR conductor who retired in April,2010 made $239,148, about $4,000 more than the authority’s chief financial officer, according to payroll data.

Can we please ask why we need to raise taxes and LIRR fares? Why do we need to pay a conductor even more than 50k is beyond my comprehension. Just because he was on the job for 40 yrs? And after all that LIRR has budget shortfall which  leads to service cuts. Central Islip teachers highest pay after contracts expire will be around 173k in 3 to 4 years from now. Why ? Don't you think for 80K we can get a good teacher?

But the authority, which employs about 70,000 workers over all, cannot significantly reduce its labor costs without concessions from its unions, which say their workers deserve their compensation for difficult and sometimes dangerous jobs.  WOW! If being a conductor is really dangerous then we must pay our soldiers more than million.

And after all that we still need to pay FAT benefits and pensions. What a waste of tax money.Say NO to any tax raise if this is where your money will end up while at the same time average Long Islanders is struggling to make ends meet.

Published by Michael M. Grynbaum for New York Times

In an era of generous municipal salaries and union-friendly overtime rules, it may not come as a complete shock that there are thousands of Metropolitan Transportation Authority employees — 8,074, to be precise — who made $100,000 or more last year.

The usual top-level managers are included in that list, but so are dozens of lower-level employees, including conductors, police officers and engineers, many of whom pulled in six figures in overtime and retirement benefits alone.

One of those workers, a Long Island Rail Road conductor who retired in April, made $239,148, about $4,000 more than the authority’s chief financial officer, according to payroll data released on Wednesday.

In fact, more than a quarter of the Long Island Rail Road’s 7,000 employees earned more than $100,000 last year, including the conductor, Thomas J. Redmond, and two locomotive engineers — who were among the top 25 earners in the entire transportation authority.

The authority is readying service cuts to close a budget shortfall of $400 million, and its chairman, Jay H. Walder, has said he plans to reel in runaway overtime costs, which pile up to $560 million annually.

But the authority, which employs about 70,000 workers over all, cannot significantly reduce its labor costs without concessions from its unions, which say their workers deserve their compensation for difficult and sometimes dangerous jobs.

The payroll data, compiled from records obtained by the Empire Center for New York State Policy, a research group run by the Manhattan Institute, reflect total compensation. An exact breakdown was not available for most employees, but transit officials said that overtime and retirement payouts appeared to account for most of the high salaries.

Two car repairmen at the L.I.R.R. and 12 police officers assigned to the authority’s bridges and tunnels, some of whom earned more than double their base salaries, were among the 50 employees at the authority who collected $200,000 or more, the data show.

Mr. Redmond, the retired conductor, was the eighth-highest paid employee in the entire authority, ranking 16 spots higher than his railroad’s executive vice president. He earned $67,772 in base salary and $67,000 in overtime, and collected nearly $100,000 in unused sick days and vacation time upon retirement, railroad officials said.

The second-highest paid employee at the agency’s bridge and tunnel division, after its president, was Walter Stock, a lieutenant who earned $226,383, more than twice his base pay of $90,000, according to the data.

At No. 17 was Dominick J. Masiello, an L.I.R.R. locomotive engineer, who earned about $75,000 in base salary and overtime payments of $52,000. He also received $94,600 in “penalty payments,” which railroad officials said stemmed from a contractual rule that requires engineers who work in a storage yard to be paid extra if they are assigned to move a locomotive to a nearby maintenance facility or if they are asked to operate a train outside of the yard.

Compensation varied widely within the authority’s various divisions. About 24 percent of Metro-North Railroad workers earned more than $100,000, along with 18 percent of bridge and tunnel workers, the data show. At the authority’s biggest sub-agency, New York City Transit, only 6 percent of workers earned six figures.

The authority did not contest the figures, but officials said they were planning stricter management oversight and more aggressive vetting of overtime requests. About 3,000 workers will lose their jobs through layoffs, buyouts, or attrition this year.

For midcareer employees, the authority “is pretty much establishing a six-figure norm,” said Edmund J. McMahon, the director of the Empire Center, which tracks pension costs.

The union that represents most Long Island Rail Road workers did not return a call for comment.

Helena E. Williams, the president of the L.I.R.R., was the authority’s highest-paid employee last year, earning $286,872. (Ms. Williams briefly served as chief executive of the transportation authority last year.) Mr. Walder, who began in October, now earns $350,000 a year as chairman, as well as a $3,500 monthly housing allowance.

Over all, the authority workers’ average pay rose about 2.4 percent last year. Management salaries were frozen. Around 60 percent of the authority’s current budget — about $7 billion — is used to pay labor costs including payroll, pensions, and overtime.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe if you skells got yourselves a real job then you wouldn't have all this time on your hands to be jealous and envious of the transit workers lifestyle.

They earned that money.

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Long Island Property taxes most important issue, say LIers

No surprise here ! To stop this ridiculous rise in property taxes we have to educate our fellow LIers and contact your representative that they should demand Speaker Silver respond to the pleas of homeowners across the state and support a property tax cap in New York. It has already passed the senate but is being stalled in the Assembly by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Also this year we are seeing some enormous rise in property taxes in school districts such as
William Floyd 12.47% and Seaford 8.99%. Some school districts such as Middle country is resorting to blackmailing its residents. The deal for districts residents is either approved a 6.68% increase or the district is going to force 21.61% increase in tax levy.

Published by THOMAS MAIER at Newsday

By a wide margin, property taxes are the most important issue facing Long Islanders, according to a Newsday / News 12 Long Island / Siena Research Institute Poll. Property taxes were cited overall by 45 percent of respondents, more than twice the 21 percent who cited "availability of good jobs" as the second most pressing issue for Long Islanders. "Property taxes are really an issue here because it keeps the young people from staying on Long Island and it will prevent the older people from staying, too," Tafuri explained.

Property taxes also are a large part of why the 57 percent of those polled said Long Islanders are headed in the "wrong direction" rather than the "right track" in the poll. A similar margin said New York State was headed in the wrong direction as well.

Property taxes are a particularly raw issue in Nassau County, where 53 percent cited them as the biggest issue, compared to 36 percent in Suffolk. Islandwide, Republicans and people 55 years or older complained about property taxes the most. "The Democrats love to spend money and they have to get it from the taxpayers," said one poll respondent, a retired Republican who lives on Nassau County's South Shore.

School costs - the biggest part of property tax bills - were also on the minds of Long Islanders who cited "the quality of public schools" among their top concerns. "The first thing I would do is eliminate tenure for teachers in public schools to cut costs," said another poll respondent, a 50-year-old Garden City man who is a Republican and who did not want to give his name. Although he was happy that his two children attending local schools got a good education there, he said his family's property tax bill has been overwhelming.

Property taxes hit a chord with all respondents, regardless of age, race, gender, religion, location or party affiliation. In addition to identifying the most important issue, the poll underlined the intensity of Long Islanders' general feelings about property taxes, with 86 percent calling the issue "very important" and 11 percent as "somewhat important." Crime, schools, good jobs and health care also received strong reactions, with traffic congestion and the local environment getting milder reactions.