CSEA is ripping the state Thruway Authority for spending big bucks to hire a project manager for the new Tappan Zee Bridge.
The Journal News reported yesterday that the Thruway is hiring Peter Sanderson, a veteran bridge engineer, at a salary of $340,000. The Thruway Authority announced last month it plans to lay off 234 workers.
“Governor Cuomo’s priorities are out of whack,” said CSEA president Danny Donohue in a statement. “This is disgraceful in every way, paying one employee that kind of money at the same time he is laying off necessary workers to prove a political point shows contempt for the workers and the public.”
The layoffs, planning to take effect in April, would save the authority about $20 million.
CSEA has charged that the layoffs are political retaliation because ongoing labor negotiations with the state.
“Governor Cuomo says his administration is about jobs and the economy, but putting dedicated workers out of work and undermining the state Thruway and Canal operations is a lousy way to promote a jobs agenda,” Donohue said.
Updated: Here’s the response from Thruway spokesman Dan Weiller. He said the project manager’s salary is funded with project revenues, not authority operating dollars.
“The new New York Bridge is one of the largest infrastructure projects in state history and will create tens of thousands of jobs as well as benefit numerous local businesses. With something this important and complex, we need the best project director possible to ensure that it is completed on time and on budget, and we are providing compensation that is significantly less than would be paid in the private sector.”