Councilmembers DeMaio and Zapf Call for Critical Review of Fire Department Labor Costs
Councilmembers Carl DeMaio and Lorie Zapf today released a troubling report showing extreme differences between Fire Department employees and similarly qualified employees of private sector ambulance companies.
The analysis showed the Fire Department is paying salaries that are 137% to 325% higher for comparable work in the private sector when including fringe benefits.
“Any time the City gives out salaries and benefits that are higher than the local labor market we are wasting the taxpayers money,” noted Councilmember DeMaio. “This report shows that Fire Department salaries and benefits significantly exceed local benchmarks and the Mayor and City Council should reform these expenditures immediately.”
“We must rework and re-engineer the way the City provides core services, or else we’ll find ourselves being forced to, once again, underfund public safety and endanger our families and communities,” said Councilmember Lorie Zapf.
DeMaio and Zapf requested the Independent Budget Analyst compile a report to look at a variety of options which may be available to the city on saving costs while maintaining service levels. The potential savings could be used to restore browned out fire stations.
“This report should serve as a motivation to critically review the labor costs and service delivery model in the Fire Department to ensure every single taxpayer dollar is well spent,” said DeMaio.