A budget headscratcher

A budget headscratcher

The Port Authority board of directors voted to approve the 2019-20 budget on Friday.  That budget included 36 new hires, with 15 of those in administration.  However, based on a news article the authority is making the claim that some of its administrative positions are underpaid based on a study done by a consulting firm.  If accurate, that is the complete opposite from where the authority’s operator pay stands.

There is $600,000 in the budget for raises for the 284 administrative positions with an eye toward bringing salaries up over a three-to-four year period.  This would be stretched out if funding issues arise.  Keep in mind that in 2022 there is supposed to be a shift in state funding away from Turnpike tolls to the vehicle sales tax for transit but that plan can always change and affect the authority’s largest subsidy source.

There is another event coming up: the next Port Authority-transit union contract.  We have pointed out for many years, and the authority’s latest service report did the same, that Port Authority operators have some of the highest wages and benefits in the country.

How about the Port Authority board begins a campaign to raise administrative salaries by getting wage concessions in the next contract?  Would administrative personnel lobby the board to go to transit union personnel and ask them to do their part to help fellow employees? Would transit union workers, hearing word of the consultant’s work, offer up some assistance?