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MTA spending spree 'raises' red flag

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MTA SPEND SPREE 'RAISES' A RED FLAG

 

 

The MTA burned through $3.5 million in the past year to increase staffing and hand out raises in its headquarters at the same time it cried poverty and begged for a $2.3 billion state bailout.

 

Between March 2008 and March 2009, 140 directors, managers and other employees who work in the MTA's main Madison Avenue offices received raises, according to a Post analysis of agency records. Of these bump-ups, 79 came without title changes.

 

In the same period, the Midtown HQ's headcount surged by 43 staffers to 695, records show.

 

The new hires included a $75,000-a-year photographer, a $117,000-per-year director of police support and a $134,204-a-year director of workforce development. Also, for $172,000 a year, it brought on a "chief diversity officer" who is supposed to help give contracts to minority-owned businesses. All were newly created positions.

 

Overall, payroll at headquarters rose 6.7 percent to $55.5 million.

 

The raises ranged from $1,000 to nearly $40,000 and were doled out to secretaries, project managers, auditors and an in-house counsel. The fattest went to Vinay Dayal, whose income soared a staggering $39,606 to $140,000.

 

Dayal was promoted from deputy director of finance to director of treasury, taking over for John Murphy, who was making $167,577. But the MTA didn't save much, if anything, on the post -- it kept Murphy on as a part-timer at $85.70 per hour to help with the transition.

 

The next highest raise went to the deputy director of media relations, Jeremy Soffin, who received a hefty $14,850 hike without a change in title. The mouthpiece now makes $123,000 annually.

 

Part-time photographer Patrick Cashin must have flashed a smile when the debt-riddled transit agency made him a full-time employee, giving him $75,000 a year rather than his hourly rate of $43.71.

 

The hiring spree saw 96 employees added, with only 53 workers leaving.

 

The MTA gave 79 employees 3 percent cost-of-living raises, and 55 workers received bump-ups for promotions, according to agency spokesman Ernest Tollerson.

 

Six others received raises larger than 3 percent that weren't based on promotions. But three of those, including Soffin, had their salaries "reassessed" on the advice of an outside consultant, Tollerson said.

 

As for the new hires, Tollerson said many were tied to future cost-cutting and consolidation programs that will eventually save the agency $40 million a year.

 

But the $3.5 million payroll increase didn't sit well with MTA watchdogs, who said agency brass shouldn't be handing out money when they're calling for major cuts.

 

"I'm surprised. I would have thought they would have been leading by example," said Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign. "It's time for everybody to tighten their belts."

 

For the past year, the MTA warned of yawning budget gaps and threatened severe service cuts and a 23 percent fare hike.

 

This month, Albany averted the doomsday scenario with a $2.3 billion bailout from a payroll tax and other cash-generating initiatives.

 

A week later, the MTA board approved a 10 percent across-the-board fare hike to begin next month, which ups a single ride on the subway by a quarter to $2.25 and a monthly MetroCard pass by $8 to $89.

 

The MTA also said it plans to phase out 600 station agents over the next seven years through attrition.

 

jfanelli@nypost.com

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Some questions.

 

Where is the Attorney General?

Where is the U.S. Attorney's office?

Why aren't these people investigating the MTA's possible fraud?

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Why are people being paid 100,000 dollars for a glorified office job?

 

Give me that photographer position, i can do it & i need the money, will re-locate if requested.

 

- A

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This article was further proof that the MTA will ONLY try to save money on the backs of the lowest paid workers and the riding public.

 

I was once again disgusted after reading this article but not surprised. The MTA spits in the face of it's blue collar employee's, it's customers, and the government that is supposed to keep them in check!

Edited by Jah

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Man....those office bums just get a big juicy raise like that. While the rest of us who work at the bottom have to fight a bloody war just for a little raise.

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This article was further proof that the MTA will ONLY try to save money on the backs of the lowest paid workers and the riding public.

 

I was once again disgusted after reading this article but not surprised. The MTA spits in the face of it's blue collar employee's, it's customers, and the government that is supposed to keep them in check!

 

It's not just the MTA it's ALL business. the rich get richer and ph*** everyone else!

 

Mark my words a shakeout is coming, the PEOPLE are PISSED and its the rich that are gonna have to pay the piper. The time is coming along soon. You can only screw the public so many times before they start to get FED UP and the anti suit sentiment is EVERYWHERE and SPREADING.

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This seems about right for the agency....I was not surprised when I read this article......

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This article was further proof that the MTA will ONLY try to save money on the backs of the lowest paid workers and the riding public.

 

I was once again disgusted after reading this article but not surprised. The MTA spits in the face of it's blue collar employee's, it's customers, and the government that is supposed to keep them in check!

 

Man....those office bums just get a big juicy raise like that. While the rest of us who work at the bottom have to fight a bloody war just for a little raise.

 

It's not just the MTA it's ALL business. the rich get richer and ph*** everyone else!

 

 

 

Exactly. They deserve the raise, we deserve nothing, even though we are the ones moving this system, and the ones being cursed out by the public, when the fares go up, and the system doesn't run as designed (unless it is designed to run like crap......)

 

This seems about right for the agency....I was not surprised when I read this article......

 

As a TA employee, none of us employees should be. No matter who runs the agency, the reek and file will always get screwed, and those who sit around and thumb their own a**holes, will get big raises, and bonuses.........

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This article was further proof that the MTA will ONLY try to save money on the backs of the lowest paid workers and the riding public.

 

I was once again disgusted after reading this article but not surprised. The MTA spits in the face of it's blue collar employee's, it's customers, and the government that is supposed to keep them in check!

Amen!

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this is why when i see a rider yell at a T/O, B/O, C/R, etc for service cuts and fare hikes, i like to jump in and defend those workers. theae people get screwed by the riders and their own employers.

 

And these "suits" who do nothing, think they know how to run a transit system-they get free rides on all MTA routes and choose to use Car Services paid for by all of us! wheres our elected officials who were there a few years ago when a "second set" of books were found that showed the MTA actually had a surplus?

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this is why when i see a rider yell at a T/O, B/O, C/R, etc for service cuts and fare hikes, i like to jump in and defend those workers.

 

Thats f'd up. What kind of sane minded person blames a transit employee for service cuts?

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Thats f'd up. What kind of sane minded person blames a transit employee for service cuts?

 

That's the point. They're not sane minded. Suits are robbing this country blind and laughing their asses off all the way to the bank, and all the public does is praise them as "hardworking" and "creative" while mocking the blue collar guy doing all the real work.

 

it's bull.

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White collar "employment" sickens me. Give me a brake handle or tie tongs any day of the week.

 

I don't know how some of those skells sleep at night.

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