Monday, March 31, 2014

2013 Employee Compensation Report

Another story that "broke" while I was away this past weekend and unarmed technologically to do anything about it was the publication of the 2013 Employee Compensation Report, HERE.  If you wish to compare it to the 2012 report, you'll find that one HERE.

Now, before you go off half-cocked, take a couple minutes to actually read the very first page of the report - the one that defines the information that will follow.  Each of the eighteen (18) columns are defined to help us understand just what we're seeing.  Most of them are pretty self-explanatory, but if you hurry through the process you'll find yourself presuming too much.

For example, if you look at the second column, Job Title/Name, you'll see who that line is all about.  But, if you immediately glance over to the far right column, Total Compensation (total Pay+ER Pension Cost) you may mistake that number for the actual pay the individual received for the year.  It is NOT.  That last column represents what it cost the city to have that person on the payroll for the year, including Base Pay, Overtime, Specialty Pay, Certification Pay, Other Pay, Leave Payouts, Health Benefits and the Employers Cost of the Pension.

I'll leave it to you to do your own analysis of the 695 line entries for Active, Terminated and Retired persons on the list.  However, I did do some calculations of the FIRST TWO PAGES - 52 persons - just to whet your appetites.

Those two pages, as I said, contain entries for 52 persons, of which thirty (30) are in the Fire Department; twenty (20) are in the Police Department and two (2) are "other" - CEO Tom Hatch and Director of Public Services Ernesto Munoz.  The list is ranked, top to bottom, based on the number in the far right column.

These two pages are very similar to the same two pages last year.  Many of the same names are near the top pay-wise.  Fire Battalion Chief Bill Kershaw is at the top of the heap again, due in great part to the 983 overtime hours he worked.  Same with Battalion Chief Kevin Diamond, who worked 989 overtime hours.  Third on the list is Police Chief Tom Gazsi.  Hatch is fifth and Munoz is 30th, on the second page.

Let's talk about the impact of the staffing dilemma both Police and Fire find themselves in today.  In the case of the Fire Department, because the re-deployment plan by former Interim Chief Tom Arnold has not yet been implemented, the existing staff has been working horrendous overtime hours.  Every one of the 30 Firefighters on the first two pages, including the command staff, worked overtime.  They averaged 1190 hours per man for a cost of $2,022,998.66 on those pages alone!  Just scroll down the page with your eyes on that column alone and it will rock you back.

In the case of the Police Department, fourteen (14) of the twenty members of that department on those two pages worked overtime.  They averaged more than 500 hours per man at a cost of $509,456.31 for those officers!  Again, just scroll down ALL the pages watching that column and you'll get a sense of just how much time these men and women are spending away from their families to serve our community.  And, certainly in the case of the Police Department, this has been unnecessary - created by the vindictive, short-sighted leadership by the current City Council majority.

Speaking of which, the City Council shows up on the list, too - way, way, way down near the end on pages 18 and 19.  Sandra Genis is on line 447; Wendy Leece is on line 448; Gary Monahan is on line 449; Steve Mensinger is on line 452 and Mayor Jim Righeimer is on page 19, line 480.

In addition, the City Council has it's own special report, HERE, titled "Council Member And Mayor Compensation and Benefits".  That report is a little easier to comprehend.  And, it explains something that's been bugging me ever since the very last Charter Committee meeting.  I wrote about that meeting HERE, and mentioned the peculiar event that occurred when member Andrew Smith proposed removing from their draft Charter the $2,100 per month stipend for each council member  that had been hashed out over several meetings and many staff hours providing information.  He said it was because he feared that the voters would perceive the council members were getting a raise - their salary is $904.40 per month today - and that might "drive a stake in the heart" of the Charter.  That stipend was supposed to be consistent among all council members, and they would be expected to pay any additional benefits that might be available to them from that stipend.

Well, take a look at that chart.  It seems that the "Monthly Total" compensation and benefits for the council members ranges from $2,790 for Righeimer and Mensinger, to $2,981 for Leece and Monahan and $3,003 for Genis.  If each council member were paid that $2,100 stipend, and wanted to maintain their same benefit level, they'd have to PAY for the privilege of being on the council!  It would cost the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem $690 per month; Leece and Monahan $881 per month and Genis $903 per month!  While Smith may have been correct in his assessment, I now wonder if perhaps his friends on the council - he used to work with Mensinger - figured out the math and.... well, you know.

Now that the 2013 Compensation and Benefits Report is available for public consumption, I suspect we may have certain sycophants of the council majority begin their yapping about how overpaid the City Staff is, particularly the public safety folks, that put their lives on the line every single day to protect us.  They'll begin that old "Unfunded Pension Liability" chant again, knowing full well that Righeimer has stated MANY times that he has no intention of sending any additional money to Sacramento to pay it down.  Unless we ride it out, depending on CalPERS to pick up the slack with their investments, the only other solution is Municipal Bankruptcy - just like "our" $495 per hour lawyers, Jones Day, guided Detroit through recently.

It's campaign season, so let the rhetoric begin.  However, when it starts this year, though, the policies of the current council majority must bear the burden of responsibility for this situation.  It was THEIR decisions that have caused so many police officers to bail out, with more on the way.  It was THEIR policies that delayed for more than a year the recruitment plans to replace known pending departures.  It was THEIR ignorance about real policing that caused them to arbitrarily establish a staffing level at least 10% too low to begin with, and exacerbated (not "exasperated", Steve) the situation with their stubborn vindictiveness.  It was THEIR eagerness to incur legal entanglements - the hasty, ill-advised layoffs three years ago;  the Steven White fiasco and the lawsuit brought against the men and women of the CMPD, for example - that have created such a toxic workplace at City Hall.  It is THEIR flagrant disregard of established procedures and policies that perpetuate the "us versus them" mentality when dealing with employee groups.  They've imposed an adversarial relationship that was never seen in our city before.

It's time for a change.  Let the games begin...

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Anonymous Terry Koken said...

Near a thousand hours of overtime! For the mathematically challenged, such as Mr. Righeimer, that means a year of close to sixty-hour weeks.

There was a period of nine months when I worked sixty-hour weeks. It was a killer. At the end of it, I came in one day and my office-mate announced he'd been laid off; I ran into the boss's office and asked for a similar deal. Got it, too. This is BURNOUT stuff. It's a wonder that anybody working that kind of man-killer schedule hasn't quit and gone and opened a worm ranch in Texas already.

4/01/2014 01:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike McNiff said...

You left out THEIR 60th birthday fiasco and THEIR (or HIS) illegal park trail. THEY'RE responsible for a lot of bad mojo.

4/01/2014 07:50:00 AM  

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