2010 - Salary and Benefits for Police and Fire averages $122,395/worker
2010 -Salary and Benefits for all others averages $95,474/worker
2010 -Salary and Benefits for all city 624 workers averages $108,136/worker
OPINION: Sex and Money are usually considered off limits in everyday conversation. Last night the Council unanimously approved by consent and without discussion a 2009 Salary Ordinance costing taxpayers $1,382,526 annually. This salary increase occurs at a time when many workers' wages are plateauing or in jeapardy. The bargaining contracts call for a salary review in 2010.
During Council budget conversations I've heard salary and benefits represent about 80% of the General Operating fund. That's right. Thus, city salary and benefit increases have by far the greatest impact on city taxes and levies over time. Capital improvement programs add to tax pressures.
In response to heavy lobbying by City Hall employees during the Ives-Marchione-transition, the Marchione Administration negotiated increased salaries for professionals, technical and clerical staff ~3.5% annually or by $1.3M in 2008. Thus, in two years time, salaries for the city's 600+ employees have risen ~ $2.6M. This adjustment doesn't count salary increases for the Mayor, Directors, Management, Supervisors, non union workers or **police. Overtime, various benefits, and merit increases are not included in the $2.6M increase.
Over 600 work for the Mayor and head count is modestly rising during this biennium. Below is a sample of salaries approved in the 2009 Salary Ordinance. The listed salaries are at the high end but don't include annual reviews, non-exempt overtime, benefits and merit increases.
- Print Shop specialist, 2009 - $49,620
- Administrative Assistant, 2009 - $51,540
- Recreation Program Assistant, 2009 -$53,184
- Deputy City Clerk, 2009 - $61,668
- Associate Planner, 2009 - $72,720~
- Building Inspector IV, 2009 - $80,244
- Audio-Visual Ops. Mgr., 2009 - $80,000
- Principal Planner, 2009 - $98,124
- Senior Engineer, 2009 - $100,560
- Fire Support Administrative Assistant, 2009 - $51,540
- Fire Fighter, 2009 - $79,404 after 3+ years.
- Driver/Operator, 2009, - $83,328 after 2+ years.
- Paramedic/Fire Fighter, 2009 - $91,320 after 3+ years.
- Assistant Fire Marshall, 2009 - $98,724 after 1+ years.
BENEFITS (I'm only listing those benefits or benefit amounts I never received during employment at corporations in outside sales.. Most of our extra pay was for meeting or exceeding market quotas - in the form of bonus and/or commissions and prizes like trips abroad. We competed against each other for these benefits.)
- Vacation - first 1-2 years of service, 12 days. Significant accrual plan.
- 12 paid holidays
- Sick Leave - 12 days/year; accrue up to 120 days; 25% unused/year apply to vacation.
- Longevity bonus - from $30 - $75/month.
- Disability - 60% of salary for 6 months (probably short/long term applies)
- Bereavement - 4 days leave
- Overtime - Non-exempt professional - 1.5 times regular hourly rate after 40 hours. Sunday 2 times hourly rate. 7th day 2 times hourly rate. (I was exempt)
- Professional Leave - Automatic 6 day credit for professional leave (training, etc.)
- Stand-by duty - 20% increase in hourly rate; 25% increase if over a weekend.
- Health, Vision, Dental insurance - A huge benefit. $150.29/month (employee, spouse,1 child). 20% premium cost sharing for dependents. (Self-employed, Blue Cross:Blue Sheild individual health insurance plans for a family of three now costs $998/month w/ 30% co-pay, $2500 deductible`).
- Merit Increase - up to 2-4%/ year + 2% lump-sum bonus at Midpoint level.
- Retirement package - under review
Salary Ordinance, 2009. (including Fire Bargaining Unit)
**2008-2009 Police Salary Ordinance - the salary schedule is buried on the last page. 5% increase in '08 & 6.2% increase in '09 ; 11.2% salary increase in the last two years.
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FORUM IS OPEN: REPLY OR SEND COMMENTS TO REDMONDBLOG@GMAIL.COM FOR POSTING ON THIS PAGE OR SELF-POST AT "COMMENT" SECTION ON BOTTOM OF THIS POST.
Mr. Yoder: Thank you for your blog. As Mercer Island's Deputy Mayor, I appreciate your efforts to bring some sunshine and some transparency to the murky and generally hidden issue of municipal compensation. In my nine years on the MI Council, we also have always approved labor contacts on our consent calendar. 01/09/2009
Ernest L. "El" Jahncke President Washington Capital Management, Inc. 1301 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1500 Seattle, WA 98101 (206)382-0825
Thank you for writing me with your blog comments. I have been very interested in this topic myself -- I'll take a look, but at first glance, many same topics as we have here and all cities. We need many good minds thinking about how we can fix this politically and economically!
Thanks, Yoriko , 01/10/09
Palo Alto City Council
Valley Transportation Authority Board of Directors
Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board of DIrectors
Unfortunately, most of my efforts to trim compensation increases have not been successful. So I don’t have the solution – except to say that you are doing the right thing by informing the public. (excerpt from Letter to the Editor)
- Pad Flinnigan, Councilman, City of Lakewood, WA. 1/15
cc: City Council and Mayor, 1/25/09