North Hempstead’s town payroll rose 1.7 percent in 2015 over the previous year and the average employee’s salary also got a boost.
The town spent $149.09 per capita on employee pay last year, compared to the Islandwide average of $257.54. The percentage of overtime pay in the town’s total payroll in 2015 was 5.79 percent, below the Island’s average of 5.93 percent.
The town spent $33,825,613 on its payroll in 2015, and the number of employees fell from 943 in 2014 to 892 in 2015. Town spokeswoman Carole Trottere said the head count remained “fairly constant,” and that reported numbers included former employees of the town who continued to receive “some form of compensation.”
The average employee’s pay increased nearly 8 percent to about $38,000, which was above the Island’s average of $36,700, records show.
The town’s highest-paid employee was the superintendent of Highways, Thomas Tiernan, who has held this position since 2000. Tiernan made $178,537, including nearly $39,000 of overtime pay. He ranked third in the town for collecting the most overtime.
A March Newsday investigation revealed that over the past five years, Tiernan was paid more than $134,000 in overtime. He is the only town highway department head on Long Island to be paid overtime.
Robert Duchnowski, a lead auto mechanic, received the highest amount of overtime pay at $54,554, in addition to a base salary of $72,862. Employees of the Department of Public Works, which covers multiple divisions such as highways and engineering, took seven of the top 10 slots for overtime pay recipients.
Trottere said the high numbers from the Department of Public Works were, in part, a result of about $574,000 of snow-related overtime in 2015.
“The town is actively monitoring overtime and looking for ways to reduce this expense; however, there are certain departments that will always require the use of overtime,” Trottere added.