North Hempstead Town had one of Long Island’s lowest rates of payroll spending per capita in 2014 but ranked above average for overtime expenses, Newsday’s analysis of town and city payroll data shows.
The town spent $146.53 per capita on employee pay, compared with $251.92 for all of the Island’s 13 towns and two cities. North Hempstead’s overtime payments as a percentage of payroll fell to 6.03 percent in 2014 from 7.34 percent the previous year — still above the Islandwide 4.83 percent average.
Total payroll spending for North Hempstead rose 2.7 percent, to $33.2 million, in 2014. The number of employees inched up to 943 from 937.
The town’s highest-paid employee was Superintendent of Highways Thomas Tiernan, at $165,020, including nearly $30,000 in overtime. Tiernan has worked for the town since 1980.
The town’s 28 highest-paid employees were an almost even mix of union and nonunion workers, the data shows. Most of the highest-paid union-affiliated employees have worked for the town since at least 1986.
“If you’re in the job for a long time, your salary goes up,” said Cindy Cardinal, chief of staff to town Supervisor Judi Bosworth.
Tiernan, a member of the Civil Service Employees Association, had the sixth-highest amount of overtime among town employees. The top overtime recipient was Robert Duchnowski, a lead automotive mechanic, who made $49,169 in overtime on top of his $69,367 base pay. Bryan Borra, another mechanic, ranked seventh in overtime.
Cardinal said mechanics are called in to work outside of their regular hours for emergency repairs. Snow plows, for example, must be fixed quickly, often in the middle of the night, she said.
Nonunion employees generally gain compensatory time for working extra hours, Cardinal said.