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.