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Prov. Firefighter’s $200K Sparks Calls for Reform; OT in Millions

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

 

In just the first quarter of FY2014, the City of Providence has expended 63% of its fire overtime budget for the year.

The costs of Providence's fire department may be more serious than the five and six-figure overtimes uncovered by GoLocal last week. City Internal Auditor Matthew Clarkin's first quarter report for fiscal year 2014 projected that the city's $4.7 million fire callback budget is likely on pace to cost more than $1 million over budget for the year.

While GoLocal's recent look at municipal pay in Providence showed that over half of the city's top 40 earners made as much in longevity, detail and overtime than base salary last year,  Clarkin's first quarter budget report to the City Council on November 4 indicated that 63% of the year's fire overtime budget has already been expended.  

City of Providence spokesperson David Ortiz did not respond to request for comment.

In his report, Clarkin noted that while 52 firefighters were added to the department in August -- and the addition immediately decreased the number of callback hours issued -- "budget savings to callback has not been realized through the first quarter of the fiscal year." Clarkin noted that with the addition of an additional 55 firefighters in January, savings in the straight-time salary line item might potentially "offset the over expenditure in callback".

Providence City Councilman Luis Aponte told GoLocal, "There are several issues at play. For a long time, the balancing act in fire was cost savings of different strategies -- a full complement of hiring more officers, to eliminate overtime, or paying out more in overtime as a way to be cheaper than additional salaries and benefits."

"That has gone up and down over time. This administration in the last two budgets promised that they'd bring overtime in line by adding to the compliment," said Aponte, acknowledging the new classes of firefighters being added. "The question is how to you manage this in a way to reduce overtime, but a long view as to owning those firefighters for the rest of their lives -- healthcare, pensions, OPEBs."

However, Monique Chartier with RI Taxpayers took issue with the way the city addressed compensation -- and overtime. "Kudos to GoLocalProv for shining a spotlight on the lavish overtime paid to some Providence employees. It is understandable that these public employees would taking advantage of the very generous terms of their contract. The real problem is a Mayor and a City Council, current and prior, who ratified a contract that includes the opportunity for this amount of overtime. Contracts that include such compensation terms are flat-out indefensible and unaffordable. The power to tax and raise taxes cannot be used as an easy substitute for responsible negotiating and budgeting."

Chartier continued, "And on top of that, fire department overtime is on track to be $1 million more even than budgeted? We are compelled to look ahead and ask: high and climbing - would that become the trend of overtime on the state level under a "Governor" Taveras?

New Firefighters Could Offset Costs

Last year, Vincent D'Ambra, the top paid firefighter -- and municipal employee -- took in more than $115,000 in overtime for total compensation of over $215,000 -- and the highest paid city workers amounted for more than $6.3 million in costs.  

See City Employees with the Highest Salaries BELOW

In his report issued last month, Clarkin noted that while the city's fire callback budget was reduced in FY2014 to $4.7 million from $8.6 million, through the first quarter of the fiscal year, 63% of the callback budget had been expended.

"Personnel necessary to run the 2nd training academy, current firefighters attending EMT-C school, and an increased effort in the Fire Prevention Division have increased callback hours above what was expected," Clarkin wrote. For FY14, Clarkin's report shows that overtime costs already were $600K in July, $1.6 million in August, and $700K in September.

Providence City Councilman Sam Zurier said that at the core, it was minimum staffing levels that primarily dictated budgetary constraints

"The City’s collective bargaining agreement with the firefighters’ union sets minimum staffing levels for the Department. In order to fill that number of slots every week, it is necessary for a certain number of fire fighters to work a certain amount of overtime. Once the new class of fire fighters graduates from the academy, it will be possible for the new fire fighters to fill many of the contractual time slots now being filled with overtime fire fighters," said Zurier

"The current contract remains in effect until July, 2016. One can ask whether the current contract’s “minimum manning level” is necessary, or whether it could be reduced. In the long run, that number needs to be reduced in order to realize meaningful savings in the Fire Department budget. This may involve closing one or more fire stations, or it may involve reducing staffing at existing stations," continued Zurier. "If the Fire fighters’ union agreed to reductions in the “minimum manning level” savings could be realized over the next few years. If not, then the matter will become a negotiating point in the next contract."

"There are some savings to realize in terms of making ambulance runs more efficient, reducing the number of non-emergency rides (such as for “frequent customer” alcoholics), but the bulk of the cost is related to contractual minimum staffing levels," said Zurier.

Closer Look Needed?

On Monday, GoLocal reported on 2014 Providence Mayoral candidates positions on municipal compensation levels -- with two contenders, Brett Smiley and Lorne Adrain -- pledging to conduct comprehensive staffing reviews if elected to the city's top office (but not highest paid, with Mayor Taveras' ranking 152 for pay on last year's list.)

Aponte noted that closer look at the city's needs -- both staffing and budgetary needs - was warranted.

"There's been a long standing debate as to where the city stands in terms of firefighters to similarly situation cities, similar size, density, et cetera," said Aponte. "We haven't done a study in a while, but we're at the high end of firefighters in the table of organization."

"The question becomes what's the best strategy -- and where do you want to spend the dollars," Aponte continued. "For instance, adding more firefighters means budgeting benefits that incorporate families in healthcare costs. There should be an analysis that has to be both for the short term and long, as to what's what's the best approach. And there have to be conversations with the city, and firefighters union to provide services efficiently, and and most needed." 


Related Slideshow:
City Employees with the Highest Salaries

How much does a top position in Rhode Island’s capital city fetch in pay and benefits? GoLocalProv has identified the 40 highest earners in the city (excluding school workers) by the amount of total compensation they receive. The data, which was provided by the city, breaks out pay in four categories: base pay, longevity, overtime, and details. City contributions towards three benefits are also shown: medical, dental, and retirement. In the below slides, the top 40 highest earning workers for fiscal year 2013 are listed from least to greatest.

Prev Next

#40 Alyssa B. Deandrade

Department: Police

Position: Police Lieutenant

Total Compensation: $146,690.77

Pay

Base: $77,210.61

Longevity: $7,393.16

Overtime: $22,337.05

Detail: $24,533.14

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $4,219.62

Dental: $421.72

Pension: $10,575.47

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#39 Arianne Lynch

Department: Mayor's Staff

Position: (Former) Deputy Chief Of Staff

Total Compensation: $147,159.76

Pay

Base: $127,507.25

Longevity: $0.00

Overtime: $0.00

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $12,534.60

Dental: $1,380.08

Pension: $5,737.83

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#38 Clarence A. Cunha

Department: Fire

Position: Acting Deputy Assistant Chief

Total Compensation: $147,372.06

Pay

Base: $91,807.36

Longevity: $7,949.52

Overtime: $18,839.30

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $12,686.83

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#37 Kristopher S. Wright

Department: Fire

Position: Firefighter

Total Compensation: $147,585.09

Pay

Base: $58,663.74

Longevity: $4,447.53

Overtime: $48,507.28

Detail: $11,848.81

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $8,028.67

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#36 Thomas M. Miller

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Rescue Lieutenant

Total Compensation: $147,951.99

Pay

Base: $64,547.59

Longevity: $6,476.44

Overtime: $51,832.96

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $9,005.94

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#35 Daniel Crowley

Department: Fire

Position: Deputy Assistant Fire Chief

Total Compensation: $148,230.56

Pay

Base: $93,692.88

Longevity: $9,855.21

Overtime: $17,904.62

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $12,534.6

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $12,943.51

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#34 Alan N. Lippacher

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Rescue Lieutenant

Total Compensation: $148,783.985

Pay

Base: $63,829.18

Longevity: $6,602.73

Overtime: $53,326.52

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $8,936.495

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#33 David A. Soscia

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Battalion Chief

Total Compensation: $149,017.14

Pay

Base: $86,012.90

Longevity: $7,577.69

Overtime: $27,426.18

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $11,911.31

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#32 Michael Krasnowiecki

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Captain

Total Compensation: $149,110.485

Pay

Base: $68,849.54

Longevity: $6,762.06

Overtime: $47,784.88

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $9,624.945

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#31 Thomas E. Crowley

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Captain

Total Compensation: $149,965.63

Pay

Base: $69,535.07

Longevity: $7,177.86

Overtime: $47,429.98

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $9,733.66

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#30 John P. Morgan

Department: Fire

Position: Firefighter

Total Compensation: $150,207.15

Pay

Base: $58,102.50

Longevity: $6,116.69

Overtime: $57,905.69

Detail: $3,847.12

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $8,146.09

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#29 Timothy S. Printer

Department: Fire

Position: Firefighter

Total Compensation: $150,731.68

Pay

Base: $58,369.52

Longevity: $6,115.36

Overtime: $61,938.32

Detail: $3,847.12

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $8,219.42

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#28 Adam Chuman

Department: Fire

Position: Firefighter

Total Compensation: $151,066.51

Pay

Base: $58,490.27

Longevity: $0.00

Overtime: $61,915.02

Detail: $7,149.18

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $7,422.98

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#27 Michael E. Correia

Department: Police

Position: Police Captain

Total Compensation: $151,421.89

Pay

Base: $81,206.12

Longevity: $8,538.4

Overtime: $36,811.50

Detail: $1,264.85

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $11,083.47

Dental: $1,299.48

Pension: $11,218.06

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#26 Stephany Blackwell

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Rescue Technician

Total Compensation: $154,001.24

Pay

Base: $61,045

Longevity: $4,086.68

Overtime: $64,492.87

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $8,287.63

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#25 David J. Duggan

Department: Fire

Position: Firefighter

Total Compensation: $154,416.91

Pay

Base: $59,196.60

Longevity: $5,559.42

Overtime: $55,445.58

Detail: $9,910.95

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $8,215.30

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#24 Joseph R. Desmarais

Department: Fire

Position: Deputy Assistant Fire Chief

Total Compensation: $154,544.52

Pay

Base: $91,623.12

Longevity: $9,079.63

Overtime: $27,402.94

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $12,534.60

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $12,604.49

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#23 William R. Kenyon

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Battalion Chief

Total Compensation: $154,611.78

Pay

Base: $83,959.36

Longevity: $7,290.02

Overtime: $35,718.41

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $11,554.93

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#22 Bryan D. Hawkins

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Rescue Captain

Total Compensation: $155,608.63

Pay

Base: $69,542.14

Longevity: $6,601.81

Overtime: $41,215.01

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $27,303.36

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $9,646.56

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#21 Steven Pare

Department: Administration

Position: Public Safety Commmissioner

Total Compensation: $156,147.90

Pay

Base: $149,423.83

Longevity: $0.00

Overtime: $0.00

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: N/A

Dental: N/A

Pension: $6,724.07

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#20 Eric E. Fallon

Department: Fire

Position: Firefighter

Total Compensation: $156,404.55

Pay

Base: $55,236.24

Longevity: $5,829.36

Overtime: $63,076.02

Detail: $8,430.13

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $7,743.74

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#19 Brian R. Chin

Department: Fire

Position: Firefighter

Total Compensation: $157,360.51

Pay

Base: $58,983.30

Longevity: $0.00

Overtime: $84,865.12

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $5,618.60

Dental: $421.46

Pension: $7,472.03

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#18 Carl H. Richards

Department: Fire

Position: Firefighter

Total Compensation: $157,878.05

Pay

Base: $57,446.04

Longevity: $6,115.36

Overtime: $64,351.37

Detail: $5,808.93

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $8,067.295

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#17 Fausto G. Garcia

Department: Police

Position: Police Officer

Total Compensation: $158,048.96

Pay

Base: $57,220.64

Longevity: $5,477.53

Overtime: $4,296.80

Detail: $70,833.77

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $11,083.47

Dental: $1,299.48

Pension: $7,837.27

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#16 Thomas L. Cassin

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Captain

Total Compensation: $158,104.17

Pay

Base: $68,755.40

Longevity: $7,305.32

Overtime: $56,308.60

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $9,645.80

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Photo: Flick/401(K)2013

Prev Next

#15 Thomas F. Oates, III

Department: Police

Position: Deputy Police Chief

Total Compensation: $158,736.47

Pay

Base: $116,423.81

Longevity: $12,378.08

Overtime: $0.00

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $12,534.60

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $16,100.24

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#14 Michael L. Pearis

Department: Finance Administration

Position: Director of Finance

Total Compensation: $159,370.71

Pay

Base: $139,192.37

Longevity: $0.00

Overtime: $0.00

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $12,534.60

Dental: $1,380.08

Pension: $6,263.66

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#13 Peter A. Tagliaferri

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Rescue Lieutenant

Total Compensation: $159,656.86

Pay

Base: $63,350.24

Longevity: $4,877.01

Overtime: $66,683.79

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $8,656.76

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#12 Michael A. Legault

Department: Fire

Position: Firefighter

Total Compensation: $159,740.28

Pay

Base: $57,446.04

Longevity: $6,115.36

Overtime: $72,016.89

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $8,072.93

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#11 Gregory D. Paolo

Department: Police

Position: Police Sergeant

Total Compensation: $160,715.32

Pay

Base: $70,277.64

Longevity: $6,818.24

Overtime: $30,025.64

Detail: $31,573.87

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $11,083.47

Dental: $1,299.48

Pension: $9,636.985

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#10 Andre' M. Ferro

Department: Fire

Position: Firefighter

Total Compensation: $162,109.81

Pay

Base: $58,333.41

Longevity: $6,251.76

Overtime: $61,589.16

Detail: $11,668.47

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1299.74

Pension: $8,177.95

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#9 James P. Mirza

Department: Fire

Position: Deputy Assistant Fire Chief

Total Compensation: $164,737.13

Pay

Base: $91,623.12

Longevity: $9,722.85

Overtime: $36,888.57

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $12,534.60

Dental: $1299.74

Pension: $12,668.24

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Photo: Flickr/Tax Credits

Prev Next

#8 J. J. Varone

Department: Fire

Position: Acting Fire Battalion Chief

Total Compensation: $165,600.53

Pay

Base: $84,914.32

Longevity: $7,290.02

Overtime: $45,628.29

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1299.74

Pension: $11,678.85

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#7 James S. Bennett

Department: Planning & Development

Position: Director of Economic Development

Total Compensation: $170,061.83

Pay

Base: $149,423.11

Longevity: $0.00

Overtime: $0.00

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $12,534.60

Dental: $1,380.08

Pension: $6,724.04

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#6 Zachariah Kenyon

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Rescue Lieutenant

Total Compensation: $172,514.51

Pay

Base: $63,589.71

Longevity: $4,877.01

Overtime: $79,272.01

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $8,686.72

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Photo: Flickr/401(K) 2013

Prev Next

#5 Boyce Spinelli

Department: Water Supply Board

Position: General Manager, WSB

Total Compensation: $177,418.15

Pay

Base: $150,392.56

Longevity: $9,299.47

Overtime: $0.00

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $9,159.90

Dental: $1,380.08

Pension: $7,186.14

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#4 Hugh T. Clements, Jr.

Department: Police

Position: Police Chief

Total Compensation: $180,872.02

Pay

Base: $134,397.90

Longevity: $14,080.04

Overtime: $0.00

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $12,534.60

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $18,559.74

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#3 Luis F. Sanlucas

Department: Police

Position: Police Lieutenant

Total Compensation: $190,234.68

Pay

Base: $77,210.61

Longevity: $8,148.40

Overtime: $9,003.18

Detail: $72,819.67

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $11,083.47

Dental: $1,299.48

Pension: $10,669.88

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#2 Michael D'Amico

Department: Mayor Staff

Position: Director of Administration

Total Compensation: $196,086.60

Pay

Base: $174,327.20

Longevity: $0.00

Overtime: $0.00

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $12,534.60

Dental: $1,380.08

Pension: $7,844.724

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

Prev Next

#1 Vincent J. D'Ambra

Department: Fire

Position: Fire Rescue Captain

Total Compensation: $218,145.27

Pay

Base: $68,762.44

Longevity: $7,290.03

Overtime: $116,356.94

Detail: $0.00

Benefits (City Contributions)

Medical: $14,789.32

Dental: $1,299.74

Pension: $9,646.80

Note on Detail Pay: Details are normally funded by the private parties that require it. But some detail pay is funded directly by the city. Payroll data provided by the city Law Department does not distinguish between the two.

 
 

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Comments:

Gary Arnold

This is the way of the Union organizations, especially in RI which has the highest cost in the country for fire depts.
It's a well known ruse of milking the OT account because of Union regulations that the city politicians keep giving into. One guy calls in sick, or vacation, or personal business, or is scheduled to take time off so another person gets called in to cover at OT. They schedule it that way.
The fire and police OT is a farce and allows them to loot the tax payers. Time for drastic changes, when you add it up and look 5 to 10 years out in accumulated expenses for pensions, health and COLAs you would see a staggering obligation for the already broke state of RI.
Time to change NOW before we have no resources to survive.

Harriet Lloyd

Okay, so this has been going on forever, and our state legislature is packed full of the very union people looting the state - or their agents- making sure that this outrage continues - really doesn't matter who the governor is. Will there be any interest in political upset of the Assembly in 2014, or will RI go on as usual, slipping further and further into the abyss while the vultures pick at its already bare bones? 'Rock Bottom' is here; it'll be interesting to see if anyone notices next fall, or if its the same old misguided confidence that some miracle will save us. Place your bets, folks!

Dave Barry

I would bet any of the mayoral candidates a thousand dollars that they won't reduce the firefighters OT budget next year or the year after. The additional 52 firemen will be calling out sick with the rest of them, triggering OT and callback. This has been happening for decades. And good luck getting rid of minimum manning. The firemen always scream and yell and claim that homeowners insurance will sckyrocket if there aren't five guys on a truck.
We will invent cold fusion before anyone fixes the fire dept.

Ken Richardson

Twenty years ago the following was introduced in a Providence Review Commission meeting ( published in PROJO ) and again it was mentioned as a potential solution in the report on the fiscal condition of the City by myself and three others: To look into the feasibility of creating a statewide fire academy to produce a substitute pool of firefighters than can be called upon by any municipality to fill in for absences. This would alleviate a very high percentage of the fire OT throughout the State of RI. Familiarity of cities and towns should not be an issue since most fireman do not live in the cities and towns they fight fire for. This would be similar to what the teachers in RI do as they wait for a chance at a permanent job as they sub. So, it would create ready firefighters so upon retirements, they is no need to be short staffed. I know it would take more detailed analysis than what I write here, but this kind of dialogue could be a starting point.

michael riley

The data used by go local very likely understates the value of benefits like healthcare and pensions. the city regularly accounts for these improperly and under reports costs. this is a very big point. Some might say lack of transparency others might say lies.

what cheer

So the fire department had over 100 vacant positions and nobody can figure out why the overtime budget was excessive? Do you think the fireman are going to volunteer to fill the shifts for free? If my boss told me that he wants me to come to work on Sunday, and not get paid, I would have to decline, unless I was going to be compensated. Why did they wait so long to hire new fireman? I know people love to bash the unions, but it appears that our city fathers let us down.

James Berling

N E W S B U L L E T I N
A judge today said Detroit is eligible for the largest public bankruptcy in US history.

Now that Detroit (Providence’s metro mentor) is eligible for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy protection can Providence be far behind?

I say bring it on. Let’s wipe out the crooked contracts and start over.

Sean Patrick

The city should be running a Fire Academy more often to fill any vacancies left from retirements instead of waiting until the Department is down 50 men/women. The Union has nothing to do with that, that's the administrations problem. Do some people abuse sick time? Yes, and that is up to the Chief/Commissioner to deal with that if someone is establishing a pattern of abusing their sick time. What most of you fail to recognize is that even though Mr. D'Ambra made a lot of money, he worked all those extra hours on one of the busiest Rescues in the state. Some would argue that's not very safe, but it's not like they just handed him a check for nothing. People also want to get on their high horse and complain about minimum manning, but when your house is on fire or your loved one is not breathing and it takes that much longer for someone to show up, you'll be the one complaining about that as well.

Stephen DeNinno

OK, as a 27 year veteran of the fire department, I can tell you this is something about nothing. Now I don't agree that someone should be working all those hours (safety) He did nothing illegal and most overtime is controlled by the city. There is a tipping number, the number of firefighters used on overtime, that the city well knows. These overtime firefighters are not getting bluecross, pension payments, (no Providence overtime is not included in the pension) When someone complains, or writes an inflammatory article like this, then the school starts and new firefighters are hired. Mr Riley is WRONG again. The city is self insured (health) and pays much less than the stated amounts in this article. I have been retired since 2005, and my wife and myself in those 8 years have used about 4 thousand dollars for health care. That means about $500 dollars a year for a family plan. Some young firefighters use even less. Injuries are also paid through blue cross and need to be taken off the amount paid. Many years that I worked with little or no overtime, due to full staffing. Lastly, they include the amount the city pays into the pension. How many years did the city NOT pay into the pension? Also we pay no SS, so the city saves their 6.2% payment for police and fire. That my friend has to be paid, unlike the pension fund. And you wonder why it is underfunded. Peace.

Redd Ratt

Stephen nice to see you chime in. What do you think of a pool of firefighters that sub in for different departments? Seems as though this would be a common sense way to have fully covered trucks without the high overtime costs. This should lead to less PTSD and disability pensions.
I agree with you that police and fire should have always been in social security. If a government program is required for the vast majority of the population, then it should be good enough for government workers. If this country had common sense government Detroit wouldn't have gone bankrupt. Providence's problems may force them into it as well. Hope your doing fine.

Stephen DeNinno

Redd, First another falacy that needs to be cleared up. Detroit is 18 billion dollars in debt. Of that 3.5 billion is"owed" the pension system of all workers. The average pension in Detroit is 20K. Secondly, not to sound provincial, but I know every street in Providence. How? By studying the maps for years. I know where high service and low service hydrants were. I do not know the streets in Johnston, nor Cranston, or Warwick. I also know the firefighters I will be working with on every shift. As a captain, I would have to make life saving decisions in seconds. That takes a good working team. Not one Providence fire captain and two or three people I have never met, nor do they know our SOP's. Now I am not saying a regional department is out of the question. But it must have one commander, and be fully trained the right way. I don't think taxpayers in North providence would like it if their trucks were in Providence 10 hrs a day. That is a political decision.

Stephen DeNinno

P.S. Redd, I never made even close to 80K in my years.

Tom Kenney

Taken from the comments section of Providence Firefighter Earns $200K:

Most of the people (pretty much all) who are commenting here have no understanding of firefighting. Most have no accurate understanding of union workers or contracts. Most have an ingrained hatred of unions.

I am a 33 year veteran captain of the PFD and what I am about to state is 100% true.

Of all the UNION members on that list not a single one would have more than a few thousand dollars in overtime pay if the City kept the Police and Fire Departments fully staffed...do I need to repeat that? I hope not, but it is true. The PFD has been understaffed by about 75-80 firefighters, Lieutenants, Captains and Chiefs over the last several years.

Minimum staffing levels only contribute to overtime costs when the departments are understaffed. AND....when they're understaffed, if there were no minimum staffing levels built into our contracts the City would simply shut down stations....1st on a day-to-day and night-to-night basis and then permanently.

Do you really want that? I realize that there are many single-minded people who would state that that would be okay as long as the costs were kept down but the cost in loss of life and property would be the ultimate trade off.

Those are the facts.....

Gary Arnold

So a 33 year vet is going to say something bad about his fire job, I don't think so. No one hates the UNIONs just the way the Unions operate through collusion, fear and intimidation. Just because the fire dept has written regulations that say they need certain manning doesn't make it right. The fire union has a history for asking for more and more over the years and they have gotten annual additional benefits that have been top heavy for the last 20 years. You talk about saving lives, well it is the job you choose and if that is part of it you are expected do do it. Think doctor and that person is on call, without OT, and saves lives weekly if not more frequently, they pay for insurance, they don't strike, they have nervous breakdowns and they don't go our on disability. Funny how a professional treats his job as a responsibility and with pride without reminding everyone they save lives every week.
We don't like fire and police anymore, not because they are not good people but because they are union people that decry anyone who questions them and what they do. Then the union corrupts the people into taking more and more from the taxpayers, that is why you are not liked or respected.

Odd Job

These public union employees just laugh their heads off at us. They'll get their comeuppance soon enough.

Stephen DeNinno

Gary, we do not write the rules. Private companies such as the I.S.O. Ant the NFPA, write rules. In fact, if these guidelines were followed, there would be four firefighters on every piece of apparatus. But there are not. Increasing manning has increased safety. That is why firefighter fatalities are down. Start screwing with minimum manning? You will see fatalities rise. Providence has about 8 of their 23 pieces of fire apparatus staffed with four men, well below national standards.

Tom Kenney

Facts please...

Mr. Arnold, the only part of your statement that was actually an attempt to state fact was, "The fire union has a history for asking for more and more over the years and they have gotten annual additional benefits that have been top heavy for the last 20 years".

This is 100% wrong. Over the last 15 years or so our union has consistently GIVEN BACK or LESSENED our benefits because of the City's financial problems, with a paltry 1% or 2% raise every so often.

As for the minimum staffing clauses in our contracts....our department runs 2/3 of our apparatus with less than the NFPA suggested MINIMUM staffing standard. Do you think a fire truck in Providence should be responding to fires or other emergencies with a single firefighter? ...or two? That happens in other cities in this state and without these clauses the City administrators would have no problem doing the same in Providence.

Again, those are facts.......

joe pregiato

Kenney, you make a weak argument. First off, all you are talking about is overtime. C'mon---EVERY firefighter wants the overtime. And if the city had to hire more firefighters, Leutenants, Captains and Chiefs, that would put a greater strain on taxes for even more pensions, and benefits.

Wuggly Ump

Even in the private sector I understand minimum manning. More laborers the faster the job gets done. Try doing a roof with just 2 guys. You can't make it cost efficient. Some have likened it to the military. When I was in we worked in 3 man teams, 3 team squads, 4 squad platoons. Minimum.

I'm pretty sure that putting out a fire or treating an emergency medical issue would require the job be done quick as safely possible.

I wonder if more lives could have been saved at the Station Club fire if West Warwick had more than 2 guys on their truck.

Wuggly Ump

@ joe pregiato you suggest that only firefighters want overtime, any gainfully employed person will accept overtime.

I am surprised OSHA doesn't limit work hours in the fire service as it does with CDL's, pilots and other heavy machine operators.

Tom Kenney

@joe pregiato,

So you suggest what? Do away with any O/T AND not hire any additional firefighters?

How? Close stations or trucks as vacations, sick/personal days and injuries lessen the manpower for a given shift?




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