A combination of decades of free-wheeling generosity by local school boards, pressure to increase teacher pay from politically powerful unions, and state laws and policies that make it impossible for districts to rein in spending has gotten New York to the point where it spends more per student and offers the highest teacher salaries of any other state in the country.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) employees were paid an average of $99,654 in 2017, up about 1.7 percent from 2016, according to payroll data added today to SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website.
Overtime spending by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) last year reached a record $1.2 billion, a 20 percent increase over the 2016 level, according to data posted today on SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s transparency website.
The complete 2017 New York state government payroll is now posted on SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s government transparency website.
I’ve said this numerous times: New York state residents are blessed to have an organization like the Empire Center for Public Policy working on their side, particularly when it comes to its tireless efforts to push for government transparency and for the volumes of public information it makes easily available on its website.
It’s a basic principle, finally being affirmed after years of flagrant disrespect: Because public pensions are paid by the public, all of us have a right to know who is getting how much.
This new timeline traces five legal battles the Empire Center has fought since 2009 against public agencies that refuse to allow taxpayers to see where their money is going.
Maximum pension benefits averaged $68,676 for the 2,495 members of the New York State Teachers Retirement System (NYSTRS) who retired in school year 2016-17 with at least 30 years of credited service time, according to data posted today on SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website.