The Oyster Bay Town Board approved raises for 87 employees totaling $734,449 under a personnel resolution that did not show the pay increases to the public.
The only mentions of raises at the Jan. 9 meeting were as part of an initiative to bring pay equity for women employees. The majority of the raises — 54 of them — were given to men, while 33 were given to women. Town officials provided a list of raises on Thursday after Newsday submitted a written request under the New York State Open Meetings Law.
The average raise for men was $8,620 and $8,150 for women.
The biggest raise was given to Deputy Town Supervisor Gregory Carman Jr., who was appointed to his position on Feb. 7. His annual salary increased to $167,500 from $134,750, a 24 percent jump that puts his pay above that for Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino, whose salary is set at $140,000 in the town code.
Maura Fahey, deputy receiver of taxes, received the second-highest raise of $23,660, bringing her salary up to $105,000.
Four others received raises of $19,000: Commissioner of Planning and Development Elizabeth “Leslie” Maccarone, whose salary is now $143,173; Comptroller Steven Ballas, who was hired in August and is now paid $139,000; Public Works Commissioner Richard Lenz, who was hired in February and whose new salary is $136,600; and Timothy Zike, deputy commissioner of planning and development, whose salary went up to $112,159.
Saladino declined to be interviewed about the raises. On Sunday, town spokesman Brian Nevin emailed a statement attributed to Saladino.
“Taxpayers are saving millions due to employee reductions which have brought the town’s workforce to the lowest level in decades,” Saladino said in the statement, and added that in Saladino’s administration, “it is a priority to create gender equality in the Town of Oyster Bay.”
Town financial records show that the full-time workforce has fallen from 1,250 in 2012 to an estimated 999 this year, with the biggest drop occurring in former Supervisor John Venditto’s final year, when it shrank by 123 employees to 1,025 as of Jan. 1, 2017.
The dollar amount of the raises is roughly the same as what it would have cost to restore salaries for the first half of 2018 for all town workers to 2016 levels. The Civil Service Employees Association Local 881 last January agreed to a 2 percent pay cut through 2018 to avoid 150 threatened layoffs.
The town board at the Jan. 9 meeting agreed to settle two union grievances filed last year. Under the settlement, the union agreed to amend the contract to allow part-time employees to work in the sanitation and public safety departments, and the town agreed to restore salaries for the second half of 2018 to their 2016 levels.
CSEA 881 president Jarvis Brown said Sunday he hadn’t seen the list of raises but his understanding was they were intended to make women’s pay equal to men’s.
At that meeting, the board also approved 10 new hires, although only five have been actually hired. Salaries for the five new hires total $347,157. The town has not released information about the remaining five hires. The raises and new hires came as the town board has been struggling with how to increase fees on parking permits at its commuter lots to increase revenue.