At least 856 New York state and local government employees under age 65 have received special permission to collect both public pensions and full government paychecks, according to data posted today on SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website.
Nearly three-quarters (307) of the 416 firefighters and fire officers who retired from the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) during 2017 are eligible to collect pensions of at least $100,000, according to data posted today to SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s transparency website.
Pensions for government retirees have been public information in New York since forever, but for nearly a decade, the Empire Center for Public Policy has been trying to collect and publish names and dollar figures on its SeeThroughNY.net website — only to be stymied by the pension funds.
The Empire Center has filed a petition in state Supreme Court that claims the city acted “unlawfully” in failing to provide an accounting of pensions of former NYPD cops.
It’s tempting to dismiss this as political posturing. Unfortunately, the governor’s rhetoric hints that his assault on the public’s right to know might not end there.
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.