Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Raking It in on whose authority?

Bloomfield's Ralph Berlangieri made $102,700 last year. He's not an executive or a lawyer or an engineer. He's a Port Authority gardener who cares for trees, shrubs and flowers at Newark Airport.
"I have a nephew who has a college degree, and he doesn't make that kind of money," said Berlangieri, who has worked for the bistate agency since 1975. "He told me he wants to get a job at the Port Authority."
Berlangieri's base pay last year was $63,700. He added $39,000, mostly through overtime.
"If they're going to offer it to me, I'm not going to turn it down," he said.

Berlangieri's hefty take-home haul is hardly an aberration. A Daily News analysis of Port Authority payroll records also found two cops who made more than one-quarter million dollars each last year, an electrician who pulled in $124,000 and a garage attendant whose total pay was $67,300.
n total, the Port Authority payroll topped $560 million last year, with more than 35% of all full-time employees topping the $100,000 mark.

The agency is much more generous than local and state government employers. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average full-time government worker in the New York area made $56,000 in base pay last year.

"In general, I think this is because they are subject to less accountability and oversight," said E.J. McMahon, a fiscal policy analyst at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank.

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