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Rail Worker With $55K Salary Makes $311K in One Year

MTA investigating overtime abuse at Long Island Rail Road
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2019 12:40 PM CDT
Updated May 4, 2019 7:00 AM CDT
Long Island Rail Road personnel work at the scene where a train derailed after striking a vehicle in Westbury, NY, on Feb. 27, 2019.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

(Newser) – A rail track maintenance worker with a base salary of $54,985 made more than 5 times that amount in 2018, working the equivalent of 16 hours a day for all 365 days of the year. The New York Post highlights the case of Marco Pazmino of Long Island Rail Road, who worked "a seemingly impossible—and possibly dangerous—number of overtime hours" for $256,177, bringing his total compensation to $311,162, according to watchdog group Empire Center. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority hasn't said how long Pazmino actually worked in a single shift, but notes that weekend tours can stretch up to 55 hours during an outage.

Considering his 4,157 hours of overtime and 1,688 hours at salary, Pazmino worked "an average of 22.4 hours a day from Monday to Friday," per the Post. MTA Chairman Pat Foye—who earned only slightly more than Pazmino at $347,707—opened an investigation into LIRR last week after learning its now-retired chief measurement operator, Thomas Caputo, pulled in $344,147 in overtime pay in 2018 on top of his $117,499 salary, per CBS News. "Someone who has worked hundreds of hours in a week should not be driving their personal car let alone operating or working around railroad equipment," Foye tells the Post. (A Chicago train driver fell asleep on the job—multiple times.)

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