The Thruway Authority’s latest executive hire is drawing fire from one of the agency’s labor unions.
The Thruway announced Wednesday that it has hired Peter Sanderson as the project manager for the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement, a job that pays an annual salary of $340,000.
The Civil Service Employees Association, which represents 1,000 Thruway workers, blasted the decision, which comes at the same time the agency plans to lay off 234 employees, including 80 CSEA members.
“Governor Cuomo’s priorities are out of whack,” CSEA president Danny Donohue said in a statement. “This is disgraceful in every way, paying one employee that kind of money at the same time he is laying off necessary workers to prove a political point shows contempt for the workers and the public.”
Donohue also charged that the lay-offs are retaliation for the ongoing contract negotiations with the labor unions.
Thruway spokesman Daniel Weiller said in a statement:
“The new New York Bridge is one of the largest infrastructure projects in state history and will create tens of thousands of jobs as well as benefit numerous local businesses. With something this important and complex, we need the best project director possible to ensure that it is completed on time and on budget, and we are providing compensation that is significantly less than would be paid in the private sector.
The project manager’s salary is funded with project revenues, not Authority operating dollars.”
(Peter Sanderson. Photo credit: The Star Tribune)