Nov 4, 2022 | News Story

S.I. Ferry Engineers Entitled to Prevailing Wages, Comptroller Finds

In another step towards parity for Staten Island Ferry marine engineers, the City Comptroller’s office has determined that the engineers should be paid wages comparable to other mariners in the New York City area.

In August, Administrative Law Judge Faye Lewis found that the engineers perform the same tasks and have the same licensing requirements as Maersk engineers working on U.S.-flagged cargo ships. Maersk engineers earn about $88 an hour while working in the New York Harbor—nearly double what Staten Island Ferry chief marine engineers get paid, according to the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, which represents 150 crew members running the ferries. In an Oct. 27 preliminary decision, Comptroller Brad Lander agreed with the ALJ’s findings that the ferry engineers performed the same work as Maersk engineers, and "are entitled to fair pay from the City of New York, in accordance with prevailing private sector rates."

MEBA’s Secretary-Treasurer, Roland “Rex” Rexha said that the union was “encouraged by Comptroller Lander's interim decision that our professional mariners onboard the Staten Island Ferry are entitled to a prevailing wage and that he agrees with OATH ALJ Judge Lewis's factual findings that our workers should be on par with the same mariner classifications onboard private sector container ships.”  

He continued, “Our hard-working, dedicated ferry crew deserve much greater respect and admiration for continuing their essential service to the City of New York despite the disrespect and neglect demonstrated by the current and former Department of Transportation in their failure to offer a fair and equitable labor contract. It is time to right this ship and give our members the contract and professional mariner wages they so deeply deserve.” Read more in the Chief-Leader and the Staten Island Advance!