City retirees' $46M bonus
By ISABEL VINCENT and MELISSA KLEIN
Last Updated: 4:41 AM, June 19, 2011
The New York Post
City taxpayers forked over $46.6 million last year to pay for the unused sick days, vacation and comp time of retiring city workers.
Teachers and other DOE workers got almost half of the cash -- $22.8 million, according to an analysis of the payouts prepared for The Post by the city's Independent Budget Office.
The total sum could pay for 740 teachers, as 4,100 teachers face layoffs, and save almost all the 20 firehouses slated to close.
A total of 6,999 city workers received payments in the year ending June 30, 2010, according to the report. Most left the city workforce, but some merely switched agencies.
For some, the windfall was almost as much as a year's salary.
Frank Cruthers, the former second-in-command for the FDNY who earned a $201,000 salary, received a payment of $199,632 in vacation and comp time, which was the highest lump sum ever paid to a retiring city worker. He also receives a disability pension of $242,000 a year.
Thomas Haring, an FDNY assistant chief, got almost as much: $192,435.
And John Murray, who was assistant director of the Office of Management and Budget, got a parting check of $183,725.
Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens Union, said it was time for the excess to end.
"The benefits need to be re-examined in light of New York's dismal fiscal future," Dadey said.
But Stu Eber, president of New York City Managerial Employees Association, defended the perks as "time that people have earned" and compensation that makes up for lower salaries than in the private sector.
City managers outside the Department of Education collected $13 million in lump-sum payments for unused sick, vacation and comp time, or a combination of all three, in 2010.
Managers get 12 sick days a year, and upon retirement most can cash out one-third of their accumulated and unused sick days providing they have at least 60 days in the bank.
The top 5 payouts to city managers for unused sick, vacation and and/or comp time at retirement:
1. Frank Cruthers / FDNY $199,632
2. Thomas Haring / FDNY $192,435
3. John Murray / OMB $183,725
4. Robert Giannelli / NYPD $181,682
5. Patrick Walsh / Correction $180,275
Source: City comptroller