The state Transportation Department is under fire for handing out raises to 17 employees at a time when Gov. Deval Patrick called for public employee unions to forgo raises and pay more for health care to ease budget pressures.
The Boston Globe reports Friday that Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Mullan handed out the raises totaling $140,000 just two months after saying the economy was too weak to increase salaries for public sector executives.
One employee got an 18 percent pay hike.
Assistant Transportation Secretary Joseph Landolfi says the raises are justified because the employees have taken on new responsibilities since the agency was created in 2009 by merging several other state departments, including the Turnpike Authority.
Some union leaders are asking what happened to the "shared sacrifice" Patrick talked of.
This program aired on May 13, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.