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Which city pays workers more, #Auburn or #Syracuse?


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The average pay for police and fire department employees in Syracuse was $83,882 last year, the highest of any city in Central New York, according to an analysis of public payrolls released today by the Empire Center for Public Policy.

Fulton was a close second at $81,839, according to the report, “What They Make.” (See full report below.) Auburn, Cortland, Oneida and Oswego all paid less during the 2013-14 fiscal year covered by the analysis, ending March 31, 2014.

Non-uniformed employees in Syracuse, however, are not the highest paid city workers in Central New York.

The 156 general employees in Auburn earned an average of $44,302 last year, compared with an average pay of $40,087 for Syracuse’s 942 employees. Fulton also paid more than Syracuse, at an average of $40,462.

The Empire Center, an independent think tank based in Albany, compiles “What They Make” each year based on payroll data supplied to the state by municipalities. Employee compensation is typically the biggest cost facing municipal governments.

The highest paid public employee in Central New York during the past year was David W. Murphy, senior vice president at Onondaga Community College, who earned $195,462 during the 2013-14 fiscal year, according to the report.

Former Onondaga County Health Commissioner Cynthia Morrow, who resigned in April, was the fourth highest earner in Central New York with a salary of $172,453. District Attorney William FitzPatrick ranked sixth in the region at $160,000.

Two Syracuse police officers and a city firefighter also ranked in the top 10 for Central New York. Police Capt. David Mirizio was fifth highest at $161,972; police Sgt. Gary Bulinski was seventh with $156,213; and Deputy Fire Chief William Mitson was eighth with $152,189.

Municipal employees in Central New York tend to make more than their counterparts in the Capital District but less than public employees in Western New York, which includes Buffalo, and the Finger Lakes region, which includes Rochester, the report said.

Public employees in Central New York typically earn less than the statewide average, largely because wage scales in Downstate areas are much higher.

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What They Make 2013-14