CARS HOMES JOBS

Report says Schenectady has highest pay

Overtime blamed for city’s rising payroll

Thursday, August 22, 2013
Text Size: A | A

— Schenectady employees have the highest average pay of any city employees in the Capital Region for the last fiscal year, according to a report compiled by the Empire Center, a non-partisan fiscal watchdog.

General employees in Schenectady had an average pay of $40,655, about $5,000 higher than the average pay for city employees in the Capital Region, and fire and police employees had an average pay of $80,334, about $4,600 more than average in Capital Region cities, based on pension data submitted to the state Comptroller’s Office from April 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013.

Missing from the picture is what the city of Schenectady gets for these costs, Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy responded.

By the numbers

A searchable database by municipality is available at www.dailygazette.com/muni-salaries.

“We’re doing a lot of things,” he said of city employees.

Schenectady has 324 general employees and 267 fire and police employees, according to the report.

Empire Center Executive Director Tim Hoefer said taxpayers can judge for themselves based on their report, which also lists the highest paid individuals, regions and municipalities in the state, to determine whether they’re getting a good bang for their buck.

McCarthy said the city is already looking at how to convey to residents what services they’re buying with their tax dollars. He said a website might be set up that will keep track of empirical data, like how many calls police respond to or how many purchase orders are completed.

“It would let people look and see what is actually being done,” he said. “A lot of it is being done behind the scenes and below the surface.”

Part of Schenectady’s high police and fire average costs are due to overtime costs. The mayor noted Schenectady has about half as many personnel as Albany.

“Our base salaries are comparable,” said McCarthy, “but the real issue becomes the staffing levels and where you’re filing for overtime, which drive up the overall compensation for the employee.”

When assessing average pay, the report considered overtime and pay for unused sick and vacation time, but didn’t factor in pension contributions, health insurance and other fringe benefits, which can grow salary costs by more than a third.

McCarthy added that the police contracts are up for negotiation next year.

The city of Saratoga Springs has an average pay of $37,672 for general employees, third-highest in the region, and $74,129 for fire and police employees, sixth-highest in the region.

In the Mohawk Valley, Amsterdam had the second highest average pay for general employees, $38,339, and for fire and police employees, $63,792. Gloversville had the region’s fourth-highest pay for general employees, $36,196, and third for police and fire employees, $63,603.

The highest salary in the state was $359,632 to a Suffolk County employee, which is more than twice what the highest individual employees made in the Mohawk Valley or Capital Region.

Hoefer said all the information in the report is easily obtainable, but it’s not the most complete data, as it is missing specifics, like job titles.

“That is an access issue,” he said. “We would have to FOIL each entity individually.”

 
Share story: print print email email facebook facebook reddit reddit

comments

August 22, 2013
8:41 p.m.
artbarb says...

Sales after the measurement timeframe:
# Street date sold price taxed value variance
1101 Ardsley 4/11/2013 $150,000 $185,000 -19%
1230 Baker Ave 5/26/2013 $86,000 $145,800 -41%
601 Bedford Rd 5/15/2013 $75,000 $96,800 -23%
252 Bradley Blvd 7/8/2013 $60,000 $139,100 -57%
1070 Brierwood Blvd 3/12/2013 $135,000 $333,800 -60%
1077 Brierwood Blvd 6/19/2013 $103,000 $168,600 -39%
131 Clayton Rd 7/19/2013 $72,500 $107,500 -33%
1118 Earl Ave 8/8/2012 $95,000 $124,800 -24%
1871 Eastern Ave 1/18/2013 $75,000 $161,200 -53%
1273 Glenwood 3/12/2013 $135,000 $154,200 -12%
1560 Grand 12/17/2012 $90,000 $142,500 -37%
1603 Grand Blvd 12/4/2012 $117,500 $161,700 -27%
1471 Lexington Ave 8/20/2012 $117,500 $161,700 -27%
1386 Lowell Rd Sold on 5/21/2013 $60,000 Tax assessment $303,400 -80%
1422 Lowell Rd Sold on 8/16/2012 $185,000 Tax assessment $320,000 -42%
1035 Park Ave Sold on 12/3/2012 $97,000 Tax assessment $170,600 -43%
1155 Phoenix 3/28/2013 $125,000 $150,600 -17%
522 Plymouth Ave Sold on 5/3/2013 $74,500 Tax assessment $112,900 -34%
714 Plymouth Ave 6/25/2072 $63,000 $114,800 -45%
1705 Randolph Rd 7/15/2013 $50,000 $157,200 -68%
730 Rankin Ave Sold on 5/6/2013 $58,000 Tax assessment $115,300 -50%
1295 Regal Ave 6/24/2013 $80,000 $106,000 -25%
17 Rosa Rd 7/2/2013 $180,000 $264,600 -32%
1142 Rugby Rd 2/19/2013 $170,000 $206,100 -18%
1233 Summer Ave 8/14/2012 $95,500 $172,100 -45%
1522 Union St. 9/11/2012 $55,000 $117,800 -53%
1233 Summer Ave 8/14/2012 $95,500 $172,100 -45%
1064 University Pl Sold on 10/29/2012 $91,000 2010 Tax assessment $181,200 -50%
2508 Van Vranken Ave#10 7/18/2013 $40,000 $91,900 -56%
1255 Waverly Pl Sold on 8/16/2012 $129,000 Tax assessment $156,600 -18%
1024 Wendell Ave 6/26/2013 $117,500 $168,900 -30%
1164 Wendell Ave 8/22/2012 $122,000 $210,500 -42%
873 Wright Ave 3/14/2013 $55,000 $163,200 -66%

August 23, 2013
7:28 a.m.
gina99 says...

Working together works-for the Democratic friends and family club. Never the taxpayers. Re-elect no one in the City of Schenectady.

August 23, 2013
3:25 p.m.
artbarb says...

isn't overtime called 'spiking?'
able to retire at full pay?

Log-in to post a comment.
 

columnists & blogs


Log into Dailygazette.com

Forgot Password?

Subscribe

Username:
Password: