Firefighters and police officers dominate the list of 280 city employees who earned more than $100,000 in the 2006-07 fiscal year, with many of their highest incomes the results of significant overtime earnings.
Most firefighters worked at least 100 hours of overtime in
the last fiscal year, and several worked more than 800, according to the records obtained by The Daily Review.
Fire Capt. Paul Vecchio pulled in $49,901 from working 991 hours of overtime, making him the third-highest-paid city employee at $181,169, according to the records.
In all, the city spent about
$2.2 million on 48,406 hours of fire department overtime and about $2.1 million on 33,048 hours of police overtime, said Holly Brock-Cohn, Hayward's human resources director.
Of the 30 employees who made more than $150,000, only three were not members of the public safety force: former City Manager Jesus Armas, who was the highest-paid official at $194,170; Mike Higares, the superintendent of the city's public utilities system, who was second-highest at $182,134; and City Attorney Mike O'Toole, who was fifth at $171,585.
The fourth was Phillip Wooley, a police officer and detective who made $173,784.
There are 194 sworn officers in the Hayward Police Department, which includes 20 attending police academy.
Of 146 fire department employees, including nonfire-fighters, 122 made more than $100,000.
Garrett Contreras, a fire captain and president of the Hayward Firefighters Local 1099, objected to The Daily Review's efforts to obtain and publish the names and salaries of city employees.
"You call it public knowledge and we call it our personal information," Contreras said.
The newspaper requested Hayward's salary figures in late August after the California Supreme Court ruled that governments must disclose what they are paying their workers. The city provided the salary list in September, but an accurate breakdown of fire department overtime was not made available until last week.
Brock-Cohn said a breakdown of police overtime will be made available this week.
City Manager Greg Jones said that "overtime is part of fire operation."
"In terms of the magnitude, I haven't really looked at it yet," said Jones, who became the new manager last month.
Mayor Mike Sweeney said he wants to look for ways to better manage public safety staffing.
In the fire department, Sweeney said, "there seems to be very high levels of overtime."
Contreras said the reason Hayward firefighters use so much overtime is that the department has been consistently understaffed for more than a decade. Firefighters' regular work week is 56 hours.
"We would much rather see our people home with their families," Contreras said. "We need the bodies. We're extremely understaffed."
The base pay for a firefighter ranges from $76,336 to
$92,477, and the base pay for a fire apparatus operator ranges from $80,870 to $98,030. Apparatus operators drive the firetrucks but also serve as firefighters when arriving at an emergency.
Employees can earn above the base amounts through overtime. They can also earn more by temporarily acting at a higher position or through certain levels of education and specialty classifications. EMT status earns a firefighter an extra 2 percent, while paramedic status brings an extra 5 percent.
The base salary for a police officer ranges from $82,285 to $99,299.
A full list of the 280 Hayward employees who made more than
$100,000 in the last fiscal year is available at The Daily Review's blog, The HayWord, at http://www.ibabuzz.com/HayWord.
Reach Matt O'Brien at 510-293-2473 or firstname.lastname@example.org.