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Staffing Shortage In SF Fire Dept. Leads To 6-Figure Overtime Paychecks For Some

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A San Francisco Fire Department fire engine. (CBS)

A San Francisco Fire Department fire engine. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — Some San Francisco firefighters are raking in six-figure overtime paychecks because of staffing shortages that have department managers scheduling numerous extra shifts.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that a lieutenant at Station 39 on Portola Avenue who collected $221,000 in overtime last year, raising his total salary to $363,000.

The newspaper reported that the Fire Department has already spent its $38 million overtime budget with two months to go in the fiscal year, and it’s asking the Board of Supervisors to approve another $4.1 million.

Tom O’Connor, president of the firefighters union, told the Chronicle some firefighters put in hundreds of hours of overtime a year. He blamed chronic understaffing caused by the department’s failure to fill 400 vacant positions.

Chief Joanne Hayes-White concedes that the current OT model is not sustainable.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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