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Third Of SF Employees Earn Over $100K

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Retired Deputy Police Chief Charles Keohane topped the list with $516,118 earned last year.

1 in 3 San Francisco employees earned $100,000

Rachel Gordon, Chronicle Staff Writer

Monday, April 26, 2010

More than 1 in 3 of San Francisco’s nearly 27,000 city workers earned $100,000 or more last year – a number that has been growing steadily for the past decade.

The number of city workers paid at least $100,000 in base salary totaled 6,449 last year. When such extras as overtime are included, the number jumped to 9,487 workers, nearly eight times the number from a decade ago. And that calculation doesn’t include the cost of often-generous city benefits such as health care and pensions.

The pay data obtained by The Chronicle show that many of the high earners bolstered their base pay with overtime and "other pay," a category that includes payouts for unused vacation days and extra money for working late-night shifts.

Leading 2009’s $100,000 Club was the Police Department’s Charles Keohane, a deputy chief who retired midyear.

His total payout was $516,118, city records show, the bulk of which came from cashing out stored-up vacation, sick days and comp time

The 36-year SFPD veteran, whose last assignment was head of administration, said much of that pay was taken out in taxes. "I helped reduce the deficit," he said

The average city worker salary in San Francisco is $93,000 before benefits, according to Deputy City Controller Monique Zmuda. The data take into account everyone from park gardeners and street cleaners to attorneys and technology specialists.

Almost 100 city employees made $200,000 or more in 2009; six bumped past $300,000 when overtime and other cash-outs were included.

Only one city employee had a base salary topping $300,000. Nathaniel Ford, executive director of the Municipal Transportation Agency, made $332,489.

Mayor Gavin Newsom had a base salary of $250,903 in 2009, which put him 29th on the list of best-paid city employees.

The ballooning number of highly paid workers is driven by several factors, including inflation, a persistent reliance on overtime and generous contracts in a city known for its politically potent unions

In the fiscal year that ended in June 2009, city salaries accounted for $2.5 billion of the $6.6 billion budget. That does not include the cost of benefits.

Faced with a $483 million deficit heading into the new fiscal year that starts July 1, Newsom is looking to reduce labor costs to help plug the gap.

The mayor last week struck a tentative deal with union negotiators that includes 12 furlough days, equivalent to a 4.6 percent pay cut, for about 90 percent of city workers. The mayor also has asked city department heads and their top managers to take a 10 percent pay cut. The mayor and his chief of staff plan to give up 15 percent of their salary…

In other words, the union workers may agree to a 4.6 percent cut, while the non-union workers will get a 10 to 15 percent cut. Of course in the end, the union will probably refuse any cuts whatsoever and demand raises.

San Francisco Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Steve Falk… pointed to state Employment Development Department data that show city workers on average earn 20 percent more than those in the private sector in San Francisco.

In addition, Falk said, city workers "have significantly better health and pension benefits" that continue to be the biggest cost driver threatening city services. That needs to be reformed, he said

We thought they were just ‘reformed’ with Obama-care. What’s the problem?

"City government is becomingly increasingly technical and more sophisticated, and you have to pay for the talent," said Bob Muscat, head of Professional and Technical Engineers Local 21…

Sure it is. Just look at the amazing talent on display in any city office.

And for that matter, what policeman working in administration isn’t worth more than half a million dollars a year?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, April 27th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Third Of SF Employees Earn Over $100K”

  1. proreason

    “City government is becomingly increasingly technical and more sophisticated”

    It’s more like the opposite. One of the biggest problem with government is the inflexibility.

    Everything is defined by a rule. It’s the law you know.

    Government workers don’t have any flexibility. That’s why they can hire so many idiots.

    And it’s why any business can run rings aroun the government.

  2. crate

    This is bull! Just blood boiling!

  3. NoNeoCommies

    To bad we can’t hire people who have good judgment.
    Instead, we remove all latitude and hire technocrats and the technocrats create more technocratic positions and regulations until the snowball crushes the city under its weight.

  4. RightWinger

    The retired chief looks like a little bit like Saddam. Are we sure they caught the right guy in Iraq and not one of his clones? LOL

  5. TwilightZoned

    “… and you have to pay for the talent,” said Bob Muscat,…

    He means bribes for those talented enough to understand, “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” Makes me wonder where princess p fits into this picture.

  6. Mithrandir

    @ $516,118, “I helped reduce the deficit.”

    Spoken like a pure parasite.

    “I sucked out 500ml of blood, but the body took a percentage of the blood back and gave it to anther parasite. So, I helped reduce the amount of blood taken from the patient! Aren’t I wonderful!”


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