Friday, September 29, 2023
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Staten Island Ferry captains’ salaries see significant increase

Under the new deal announced Labor Day, Staten Island ferry captains will bank a jaw-dropping $1 million in back pay and absurd salaries. 

All 150 or so ferry employees will get retroactive pay hikes running back 13 years, boosting their pensions as well.

Base pay for captains jumps from $71,000 to $180,000 a year.

Yes, the job’s important: The horrific toll from the 2003 ferry crash shows what can happen when the boats are badly commanded. 

But the mayor only pulls $260k; did no one ask if this was too much?

In all, the deal will cost the taxpayers $103 million through 2027 when the city’s already staring at multibillion-dollar budget gaps. 

When they couldn’t reach a deal 13 years back, workers took on the risk of not getting back pay.

That’s a lever that tougher negotiators could’ve used to reduce the hit from “settling the issue.”

Even Mayor Bill de Blasio refused to take such terms.

Then again, Mayor Eric Adams hasn’t gotten tough with any of the city’s unions by, say, demanding serious productivity gains to help cover the costs of raises.  

Maybe it’s time to find the savings another way, by looking to hire a private company to manage the ferry on a cost-effective basis.

The city’s obliged to run this service, but not to lose its shirt in the process.

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