Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) employees were paid an average of $100,302 last year, according to data released today on SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s transparency website.

Payroll at Port Authority totaled over $845 million last year, an increase of more than $30 million from 2017. Overtime and other extra pay such as shift differentials and holiday pay accounted for $193 million of the total, averaging $22,937 per employee.

The Authority also began to pay over $118 million in retroactive wages and salaries last year, thanks to a failure to administer raises required by a previous bargaining agreement. The largest retro payment was $158,656 to Stephen Vendola, a chief maintenance supervisor whose base pay was $106,324.

The highest paid group of employees, Port Authority police, averaged $30,771 in overtime. Port Authority Police were paid a total average of $121,681.

Almost half of the 8,428 people who worked for Port Authority in 2018 took home six-figures last year.  This included 243 employees who were paid at least $200,000.

Including overtime and other extras, the highest paid Port Authority employee last year was Police Sergeant Kevin Cottrell, at $313,111, nearly 3 times his base rate. Ranking second was by Steven Plate, chief of major capital projects in WTC construction, who pulled in a total of $310,276, followed by Police Officer Edwin Berdecia, who more than tripled his $90,000 pay rate in overtime to reach $307,006 in total pay for the year.

The 50 highest-paid Port Authority employees can be found here.

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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