LAFD OT Has Some Critics and City Officials Feeling Burned
The Daily News has published their analysis of LAFD salaries and overtime pay, and the results might have some folks feeling burned. The report shows that overtime pay has risen 60% in the past ten years with a personnel increase of only 17% (to 3, 586 firefighters), and "there is no real effort to rein in the expense despite the city's budget crisis." Average overtime was $36,500 per person last year, with over 50 pulling in over $100k in OT alone. "In the long run, officials say, it is cheaper to pay overtime than to hire more firefighters, whose annual salary, benefits and training add up to at least $100,000 each." Critics think the taxpayers are being singed by these practices, citing personnel's presence at non-fire-related events, and the use of firefighting units instead of smaller paramedic-staffed ambulances in response to minor incidents.
While the Mayor said via a spokesman he "is not planning to push for changes in firefighter scheduling, according to his spokesman," some City officials also think it's time for the LAFD to make cuts along with the everyone else. "Los Angeles City Councilman Greig Smith, a member of the council's Budget and Finance Committee, said the city is making a number of cuts, and the LAFD's overtime should be no exception."