Monday, November 7, 2011

State’s GOP in hell-rai$er

While unionized state workers are getting hit with three years of wage freezes, and Gov. Cuomo and his top aides are taking 5 percent wage cuts, state Senate Republicans are doling out pay hikes to most of their Capitol staffers, The Post has learned.

The pay increases, as the state struggles with budget cuts and falling revenues, average 6 percent and are worth nearly $1 million on an annual basis, payroll records reviewed by The Post show.

Kelli Cummings, chief spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-LI), defended the raises, some as small as 3 percent, saying they were the first in four years. She described them as “cost-of-living” increases.

The raises varied over a wide range. Of the 319 employees who got them, 70 mostly lower-paid workers, such as clerks, phone operators and administrative assistants, saw double-digit hikes.

Some of the bigger pay increases reflect promotions and “additional responsibilities,” Cummings said.

Senate payroll records show that 19 Republican staffers who make six-figure salaries received raises -- including the son of Sen. Hugh Farley (R-Schenectady).

Assistant counsel Robert Farley got a 3 percent raise to $113,300 annually, up from $110,000.

Senate Democratic and Assembly staffers have not received raises this year.

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