The city’s school custodians are cleaning up — and not just classrooms.
New payroll data released online Thursday by the Empire Center shows public school custodians were the highest paid municipal employees for fiscal year 2014, having raked in an average pay of $109,467.
That compares to police officers, who earned an average of $78,220 for the fiscal year.
The payroll data also shows that out of 800 custodians, 634 made more than $100,000 in salary. The Department of Education said its records indicated salaries for custodians were between $82,000 to $110,000 depending on the number and size of buildings managed.
A union representative said he was unsurprised by the numbers but blamed city policy under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg that saw the number of custodians reduced while the remaining employees were forced to pick up extra work.
“You cannot blame the workers, who are being forced to take on these additional responsibilities and work these additional hours,” said Robert Troeller, business manager and president of Local 891. He also emphasized that custodians are more than just handymen, they are technically referred to as “engineers” with higher-level skills and responsibilities.
That said, he expected salaries to go down this year with a pro-union administration in City Hall.
The payroll data also showed that John Murphy, an associate inspector for the Department of Buildings, was the overtime winner in fiscal year 2014. He earned $179,099 in overtime pay, making his take home pay $265,498.
A spokesman for the DOB said Murphy had been a key resource during Hurricane Sandy response in the Rockaways, and had been willing to pick up additional shifts and holiday work. About $100,000 of his pay was covered by federal Sandy-recovery funds, the spokesman said.
The payroll data can be searched through the SeeThroughNY.net website.