The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey -- the shared responsibility of elected officials in two states, with no direct accountability to taxpayers -- is among the most generous of the region's large public-sector employers, as reflected in payroll records posted today at www.SeethroughNY.net, the Empire Center's transparency website. The new data include names, titles, locations, base pay and total pay received for those employees.
As in previous years, the 2010 Port Authority payroll reflects extraordinarily high pay levels, even by the standards of the region's quasi-autonomous public authorities. For example:
• The 7,345 employees received average base salaries of $79,144. But overtime and other extras inflated the average total pay to over $90,000.
• Fully 36 percent of the authority's employees were paid a total of more than $100,000.
• The 100 highest-paid employees included 54 police officers, 24 of whom were paid over $200,000 each.
The highest-paid Port Authority employee was Christopher Ward, the outgoing director, whose salary was a flat $304,902. The overtime and extra pay champion was Edwin Rivera, a police sergeant who received $132,286 on top of his base salary of $103,964. Rivera was the eighth highest-paid PA employee in 2010, earning $236,250 -- more than (among others) the Port Authority's executive who oversees one of the world's largest airport systems, the director of construction at the World Trade Center site, and either of the two individuals listed as chief financial officer in 2010.
As a group, the Port Authority's 134 police sergeants earned average pay of $149,760, including $52,125 in overtime and extras, and police lieutenants earned an average of $158,950, including $45,120 in overtime and extra pay. But substantial overtime and extras were not limited to police. As shown in the attached list, some 50 job titles received extra pay averaging between $25,000 to $57,155 -- enough, in most of those cases, to boost a five-figure salary into six figures. For example, the authority's 53 general maintenance supervisors received average extra pay of $26,767, boosting their total average salary from $86,133 to $113,103, including $45,120 in overtime and extra pay.
Lists of the 100 highest-paid Port Authority employees and of the job titles with the most extra pay in 2010 are available for download here.