Police officers and firefighters have been San Francisco’s highest-paid city workers for years, thanks to overtime, premium pay and hefty vacation buyouts, but now they’ve been overtaken by another group – nurses.
According to the year-end tally of city labor costs, 10 nurses earned more than $250,000 in fiscal 2010-11. That’s roughly what Mayor Ed Lee makes.
Four of the nurses made more than $300,000. All worked in the San Francisco General Hospital surgery unit, then doubled up as “special nurses” when needed.
According to the Health Department, they worked an average of 67 1/2 hours a week.
The Public Health Department also had the highest-paid city worker. Dr. Denis Bouvier, at Laguna Honda Hospital, earned $332,331 by working an extra two or more 15-hour overnight shifts a week after his usual day shift. He was one of two doctors on the highest-paid list.
Is there any wonder why California state, cities and counties are almost, going towards or are already bankrupt? These type of salaries are not sustainable.
We are not even talking about what pensions they will receive when the nurses retire. Their pensions will be astronomically high.
Read Michael Lewis’ California and Bust re: City of San Jose and Vallejo. You will understand the dilemma.
The San Francisco Fire Department has done quite well too.
Although the Public Health Department scored the most workers making more than $250,000, the Fire Department – which has long promised reviews of its overtime and premium pay policies – still managed an impressive showing.
Eleven firefighters made the list, led by Assistant Chief Arthur Kenney at $301,811. Chief Joanne Hayes-White checked in at $298,627, including $16,903 in premium and incentive pay.
Overall, 259 city execs and workers made more than $200,000 last year, and 2,325 city workers made more than $150,000 – plus benefits.
And, think how many laid off local and state employees, including teachers that could have retained their jobs, if San Francisco cared and managed their public employees appropriately.