Average pay for Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) employees increased nearly 10 percent last year, to $123,000.

Overtime pay helped fuel the increase. From 2020 to 2021, average overtime pay per employee rose from $12,177 to $16,376. And the number of six-figure overtime payouts rose from 87 to 95 employees.

The PANYNJ’s 8,150 employees received more than $1 billion in total pay in 2021 —virtually identical to the 2020 total — according to data released today on SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s transparency website.

Total pay at PANYNJ was unchanged because the higher per-employee pay went to fewer employees; the number of employees paid during the year fell from 9,586 in 2020 to 8,150 in 2021.

Total overtime pay increased by more than $16.5 million, to $133,394,168. Other extra pay, such as shift differentials and holiday pay, fell by over $100 million, a reduction of more than 50 percent.

Six-figure overtime payouts were most prevalent at the PANYNJ police department, where 71 of 1,896 police department employees were paid at least $100,000 in overtime, including 35 police officers.

Among police officers, 17 percent (17 of 97) of lieutenants made $100,000 or more in overtime alone, along with ten percent (16 of 166) of sergeants. Three detectives made $100,000 or more in overtime.

Police department employees also collected the highest total pay at the Port Authority last year, receiving an average of $158,871 — a 24 percent increase from 2020. Eighty-two percent of police department employees were paid six-figures, compared to 62 percent among all Port Authority employees.

The 772 Port Authority employees earning more than $200,000 in 2021 is a 27 percent increase from 2020, and a 200 percent increase from 2018. Fifty-nine employees were paid more than $300,000 last year, compared to just four employees in 2018.

The three highest paid Port Authority employees last year, including base salary, overtime and other extra pay, were:

  • Shawneequa Jackson, police sergeant, with total pay of $382,367, including $148,504 in overtime and $92,150 in extra pay;
  • Victoria Lubeck, detective lieutenant, with total pay of $377,239, including $141,898 in overtime and $64,951 in extra pay; and
  • James Graf, detective sergeant, with total pay of $375,466, including $120,934 in overtime and $91,561 in extra pay.

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family. 


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