SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — A watchdog group that tracks what government workers are paid in California suggests that BART and other public agencies are handing out overtime pay like it’s leftover Halloween candy.
The group Transparency California, oddly enough based in Las Vegas, makes freedom of information requests on compensation figures and says some BART janitors are earning over $100,000 in salary alone, one of them last year earning $276,000 after massive overtime pay and benefits.
“Just under $58,000 base pay. $162,000 in additional overtime pay. So, the idea that someone is getting almost triple their salary in overtime pay, it startled me. It seemed hard to believe,” Robert Fellner with Transparency California said.
He says taxpayers should be shocked.
“Earlier this year they raised rates, and now they’re pushing for a big property tax, tax increase. And, if we’re spending this type of money on employee pay, which is so far above and beyond what’s reasonable, or necessary, puts doubt about how responsible they’re being with taxpayer dollars in general,” Fellner told KCBS.
BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost says with riders demanding cleaner cars and stations overtime is widely available and cheaper to pay than hiring additional workers.
“There are some people who just like to work every day of the year cleaning our stations, and it’s a wonderful thing that they do that. If we didn’t have people working overtime cleaning the stations, they would be more filthy than they are today,” Trost said.
It’s not just BART.
A fire chief in San Ramon earned $511,000. A Battalion Chief earned $485,000. And, the head of East Bay MUD earned $478,000 in salary and benefits. A Port of Oakland custodian earned over $200,000.