SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)—The San Francisco Fire Department is asking the Board of Supervisors to allow it to spend another $4 million on overtime pay for this fiscal year that has little more than two months to go. This comes after the department has already spent the $38 million in overtime that had been budgeted.
Departments have done this before where it’s easier to pay the OT than to hire new firefighters. Lately, there haven’t been any major catastrophic events or earthquakes emergencies.
So, this is a practice incorporated not only in San Francisco, but all across California where these departments and cities, faced with the short-term budget crunch that actually turned out to be much longer over the years; coupled with the political clout of the firefighter’s union (mandatory staffing), basically get themselves in a bind where they need firefighters in the station, but don’t have money for new classes.