Survey shows top earners: Union contracts still unsettled
Salaries account for 43% of the fiscal year 2014 municipal budget presented by the Board of Selectmen.
Total employee compensation is pegged at $13.1 million. That is an increase of 5.5% over the $12.5 million budgeted in fiscal year 2013, according to a presentation by First Selectman Bill Brennan at the public hearing March 28.
Both numbers include base pay, overtime and associated compensation payments, according to the presentation.
A list of current full-time salaries shows a range from $35,872 for a van driver to $141,558 for the chief financial officer. Employees who work a minimum of 20 hours are eligible for benefits and pensions. Some of the salaries at the lower end are for people who do not work a typical 40-hour week, but all work above the 20-hour threshold.
A review of the salary list shows they are fairly evenly spread out:
• Seventeen employees earn between $35,872 and $49,299.
• Thirty-two earn between $50,477 and $59,072.
• Thirty-four earn between $60,031 and $69,521.
• Thirty-four earn between $72,035 and $78,566.
• Fifteen earn between $80,317 and $88,970.
• Four earn between $92,694 and $99,347.
These salaries reflect the fact that police union members have not received pay increases since July 1, 2009, according to Sarah Taffel, director of human resources, labor relations and administrative services. The police contract expired June 30, 2011, and has not yet been settled.
All the union and non-union employees agreed to a wage freeze in fiscal year 2010. AFSCME, Teamsters and fire union members received pay increases on July 1, 2011, and step increases, if applicable, at specified points based on their date of hire (Jan. 1 or July 1) during the fiscal year depending on the particular union contract, she said.
The AFSCME Town Hall Employees union, the Teamsters union (public works/transfer station) and the fire union contracts all expired June 30, 2012, according to Ms. Taffel.
There is a reserve line in the fiscal year 2014 budget — which is part of the $13.1 million earmarked for employee compensation — that takes into account contracts that may settle in the next year.
These numbers do not include any overtime, which is earned primarily by members of the Fire Department, Police Department, Highway Department, and Parks and Grounds Department.
According to the budget document on the town website, Fire Department overtime accounted for:
• $601,856 in fiscal year 2012 (actual)
• $411 065 in fiscal year 2013 (actual)
• $534,977 in fiscal year 2014 (budgeted)
For the Police Department, the overtime numbers are:
•$350,444 in fiscal year 2012 (actual)
• $254,423 in fiscal year 2013 (actual)
• $365,000 in fiscal year 2014 (budgeted)
For Parks and Grounds, the overtime numbers are:
• $52,801 in fiscal year 2012 (actual)
• $46,069 in fiscal year 2013 (actual)
• $47,000 in fiscal year 2014 (budgeted)
Highway Division overtime:
• $86,641 in fiscal year 2012 (actual)
• $119,642 in fiscal year 2013 (actual)
• $143,412 in fiscal year 2014 (budgeted)
Comments from the Police Department on the budget document indicate the overtime figure considers “a fifth year of unfunded staffing levels. It also includes anticipated salary increase for FY12 and FY13 that will increase the hourly overtime figure.” There were also four officers on long-term sick leave, resulting in overtime expenditures to cover shifts. Also adding to the figure were increased state-mandated training requirements that went unreimbursed and storm-related events.
Similarly, comments from the Highway Division indicate snow and ice control, road improvements, and emergency storm-related disasters as the reasons for overtime.