The Empire Center for New York State Policy has just released its 2010 payroll data for the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

Results?

The average MTA worker made more than $72,000 in salary and/or wages, overtime, and other cash costs last year, up nearly 4 percent from 2009. This about tracks the four-percent raises that unionized employees at the city-based Transport Workers Union got. (The #s don’t include benefits; with benefits, the average is above six figures, according to data the MTA released to us last year.)

Even though the MTA cut the people on its payroll by about 2.2 percent, or 1,652 workers, the money it spent on payroll went up, by 1.4 percent, or $71 million.

This data encapsulates the MTA’s problems: it can cut workers, including front-line workers. But because New York State politics locks it into raise and benefit costs, these cuts don’t result in big net cost cuts.

MTA chief Jay Walder clocked in at #1, with $350,000. #9 was LIRR conductor Dennis Reardon, who took in $240,489, tripling his base pay.

As for specific agencies, the LIRR clocked in at $84,850 on average per worker, just behind brass and police, at $87,582 the LIRR had the highest average overall, with $96,081 (again, only pay, not benefits).

488 workers took in more than $150,000, including 11 LIRR engineers and 53 Metro-North conductors.

A few job titles point up the MTA’s sticky payroll.

Last year, the MTA dropped 136 cleaners across all agencies, or 3.4 percent. But spending in this area still rose 5.4 percent, as average pay per worker rose 9.1 percent, to $47,949.

Same thing happened with track workers. The MTA dropped 38 positions, or 1.76 percent. But spending rose 6.1 percent as average pay rose 8 percent to $64,994.

With station agents — token-booth clerks — the same trend held, just less dramatically behind the scenes, even though the public can see it more obviously. The MTA cut 121 station-agent positions, or 3.6 percent, as it continued to close booths, cutting service. But payroll dollars only fell 1.3percent, as the average booth clerk got a bump-up in pay of 2.4 percent, to $57,202.

How ’bout suburban ticket sellers and clerks at Metro-North and the LIRR?

Here, the MTA cut 19 jobs, or 9.1 percent. Payroll spending, though, fell by less than that, by 6.9 percent, as the average worker got a nearly 2.5 percent jump in salaries and wages, to $66,050.

Please check out some more data here. And if you’re bored in the heat, do your own data tables here, at SeeThroughNY . Tell us in the comments if you find anything interesting that the Empire Center folk (and me) missed!

We’ll be doing more work on this, including counting supervisors to compare the number to 2009 — a daunting task. Wait for more updates in the next couple of weeks.

You may also like

Voters Reject a Pair of Tax Cap-Breaching School Budgets

New York school districts whose budgets were defeated yesterday can hold a re-vote in June on the same proposal or a modified one Read More

NY’s pandemic-punctuated school spending topped US average by 89%

In a school year whose last quarter was severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, New York once again led all states in spending on elementary and secondary education Read More

Renewable Energy, Open Space, and Agriculture – New York Can’t Have it All

New York faces the prospect of growing land use conflicts in coming years, due to the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act Read More

Can New York City Do Without the Greenpoint Energy Project?

National Grid is trying to expand its natural gas compression facility in Brooklyn, but New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation delayed making a decision to approve it Read More

Stock markets gyrations could make Albany dizzy

Recent stock market trends could punch a hole in New York's overstuffed state budget. Read More

Set Free New York’s Zombie Charters 

Due to a quirk in state law, roughly 10,000 mostly low income and minority kids in New York City are being denied the charter school seats their parents covet for them. Read More

New Yorkers Deserve a Choice of Gas Heat or Electrification

The electrify-everything movement is coming for your gas heat, stove, and clothes dryer.   Read More

Minimum wage for home care aides is likely to mean bigger raises for downstate than upstate

The newly enacted wage hike for home care aides is likely to increase workers' pay more than three times as much in the New York City area as in other parts of the state, according to a review of labor data. Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries: Info@EmpireCenter.org

Press Inquiries: Press@EmpireCenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!