Average Salaries Rose At The MTA In 2009

The cost of employee wages (especially overtime) has dominated much of the transit landscape lately. The Manhattan Institute is continuing the cycle by releasing a report highlighting how average salaries at the MTA rose 2.4% in 2009. Here is some more courtesy of the press release they issued:

A searchable database of the complete Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) payroll for 2009 – including names, titles, base pay rates and total pay received by 74,708 individuals – shows an increase of 2.4 percent in the average total pay of MTA employees last year. The updated payroll file is now available at www.SeeThroughNY.net, the government transparency website sponsored by the Empire Center for New York State Policy.

For the second consecutive year, more than 10 percent of the MTA’s workforce – 8,074 individuals – took home $100,000 or more in total pay, including overtime and other extra pay. The MTA’s six-figure club included:

* Six employees who earned more than $250,000;

* 44 employees who earned between $200,000 and $250,000;

* 511 employees who earned between $150,000 and $200,000; and

* 7,513 individuals who earned between $100,000 and $150,000.

Eleven of the 561 employees who earned more than $150,000 in 2009 were Long Island Railroad car repairmen who earned an average of $167,342 – which was $102,477 over their annual base pay rate of $64,865. Other popular titles in the $150,000-and-over category included:

* 65 Long Island Railroad and Metro-North Railroad conductors who averaged $86,837 over their base salaries which averaged $75,970;*

* 53 Bridge & Tunnel Sergeants and Lieutenants who averaged $94,962 over the average base pay of $82,594;

* 34 Long Island and Metro-North Railroad engineers who averaged $89,109 over their $77,953;*

* 28 MTA police officers; and

* 23 Long Island Railroad gang foremen averaging $81,718 over their base pay rate $82,249.

Most of the MTA’s unionized employees received a 4 percent base pay increase last year. Smaller average total pay increases in some units reflect, in part, the inclusion of non-unionized management employees, whose pay was frozen.

SeeThroughNY allows the public to examine government expenditures on the Internet. It includes the wages of most New York State government, public authorities, cities, counties, villages, towns and school districts. Also posted are teacher and administrator pensions, teacher and school superintendent employment contracts, state legislators’ office expenditures, pork barrel projects, and a benchmarking feature for comparing local government and school district spending. The site was launched July 31, 2008.

The Albany-based Empire Center is a project of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, one of the nation’s leading non-profit 501(c)3 think tanks.

(Click here for table showing both total and change in employees and payroll by MTA subagency between 2008 and 2009, and click here for table showing the 100 highest earning MTA employees in 2009.)

Note: *Metro-North Railroad pay data was supplied by that agency as an hourly rate only. For comparative purposes, average salaries for Metro-North employees assume a 40-hour base workweek.

Click here to view the entire report. Please note it is a .pdf so you need the necessary software installed to view it.

I found the chart in the report extremely interesting. As someone who personally knows a number of LIRR employees, I was not surprised to see a number of LIRR conductors being listed in the top 100 of salary earners. Of the top 100 earners, 5 went to LIRR conductors. The total 2009 salary of those 5 spots & their respective rank on the salary list are:


08th: $239,148

33rd: $209,414

56th: $198,269

64th: $194.611

80th: $187,008

What I found interesting is how not one of their Metro-North counterparts made the list. I find this very telling as the LIRR has been known to have some “overtime” experts who know how to make bank. This report will do nothing to calm the flames of those who feel too many workers abuse the overtime system. I have to admit it does seem to be quite a high salary for the position. It should be interesting to see what the media has to say about this report in the coming days.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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[…] the entry below, I wrote about how the average salaries of MTA workers rose by 2.4% in 2009 according to a report by The Manhattan Institute. Shortly after the report’s release, the MTA […]

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