Patterns in the top 250

Posted by Jeremy Shulkin

Yesterday the T&G pulled out the old top 250 wage earner article. (And riled up some city employees.)

In looking at the numbers, the paper highlighted that the police department overwhelmingly dominates the list — 12 of the city’s top 15 wage earners are the police chief, deputy chiefs, captains, lieutenants and officers.

In contrast, the fire department’s Chief Gerard Dio didn’t even make the top 50 — he’s number 53 with a $138,000 salary. DPW Commissioner Robert Moylan came in at 13 with a $161,000 salary.

Aside from WPS Superintendent Melinda Boone (4th, $179,000), school employees don’t crack the top 50, and barely make the top 60 with CFO Brian Allen at 59th with a $136,500 salary.

The T&G noted that the number of school employees on the list shrunk from 73 in 2009 to 58 in 2010. Only 10 WFD employees made the cut this year, down from 25 in 2009.

Police officers benefited from pay details and overtime. The document showed only a handful of the police officers on the list didn’t receive overtime or pay detail compensation. The T&G pointed out that person who received the highest amount of overtime pay was mechanic Alan Gemme, Chief Gary Gemme’s brother, with his overtime pay almost matching his salary ($61,600 vs $58,900). But if you add up all of Alan Gemme’s supplementary income (overtime/detail/retro) it actually adds up to more than his salary ($68,376).

For the most part, municipal union members didn’t make the top 250 cut. Only a handful of teachers union members are listed, and those are mostly assistant principals and a few principals who opted to stay in the EAW. No WPS classroom teachers made the list. (Daniel Case, who’s listed as a teacher, is actually a liaison for the school department, says EAW head Lenny Zalauskas.)

No NAGE workers are among the top 250 earners.

I’ll be the first to admit I have no idea how the the fire fighters union is set up, so I can’t say how many of the ten from the WFD on the top 250 list are IAFF members. I’ve put in a call to figure it out.

Clearly, the exception here is both police unions. Those from the officials union (IBPO 504) not only have high salaries, but they’re still raking in the overtime and pay detail as well.

Also listed are just “police officers” — which is a little misleading. For example, the list considers Al Gemme a “police officer,” but doesn’t note that he’s an officer in the traffic division as well as assigned part time mechanics work in the garage (unless something has changed in the past year or so). It’s unclear if all of the 102 “police officers” on the list belong to the NEPBA (the patrolman union) but this still shows that a significant number of police officers and non-officials make up 41 percent of the city’s 250 highest paid employees.

The Excel spreadsheet, provided on the T&G’s website, has a lot more information. Play around with it and leave any other observations in the comments.



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5 responses to “Patterns in the top 250

  1. -Q

    As usual “cub reporter sutner” comes out with his yearly recycled regurgitation of garbage. Had “cub reporter sutner” truly wanted to get the “real” story out he would have made note that the paid details for Police Officers/Officials is a revenue generator to the City of Worcester…………
    Why were only the Police Departments employees singled out in the local t$g for working extra hours when other discipline ie: teachers, firefighters, dpw&p, etc…. that work beyond their regular employment hours are ignored. Of note Police officers and police officials need to get permission to work outside their regular assigned duties – they are the only city department that needs authorization from the chief………all other city departments can work wherever they choose and they will not recieve the same scrutiny as the WPD………….sounds like the t$g vendetta against our WPD is not going to end anytime soon. In fact, they are actually looking to inflame city employee/city manager differences in order to create news and sell more newspapers…………

  2. Boots

    If there’s a lot of overtime on the WPD, does that mean we need more cops? Usually paying overtime is cheaper than hiring new employees. So should the police pay be cut to minimum wage like the New Orleans Police Dept. was way back when? That led to the NOPD going into part time business for themselves. Things like, armed robbery, drug dealing and murder for hire.

    Then there’s the (non taxpayer paid) salaries. Paid to those talk show hosts who spread the propaganda for the right wing ideologues. Jim Polito brags about his $250,000 year salary. For what? Getting up early in the morning and calling the mayor Barack O’ Brian and Clive McFarlane Clive McMoron? Then there’s Rushbo & the Beckster, et al, making multi-million dollar salaries. They couldn’t even pass the tests to be a cop, never mind have the guts. Everyone’s overpaid except them.

    How about the taxpayer funded sports arenas? That’s so those athletes on steroids can make those salaries on steroids. No problem with that or the excessive costs to those who go watch them play their games.

    Last but not least, who agreed to pay those salaries, and how come the complainers never took the test if the job’s so great?

  3. I’m hoping HTML has been re-enabled at your site, so I can link you to the 3-D Pie Charts I made based on the excel charts you gave us to play with. One pie chart shows each city department’s combined share of the top 250 highest paid employees’ regular wages; the other shows each department’s share with all additional income sources included:
    F:\Web Feature\Web Feature\Top 250 Salaries Paid to Worcester, MA City Employees Web Page.mht

    Just in case HTML is still disabled here, I’ll post the web address by itself:
    F:\Web Feature\Web Feature\Top 250 Salaries Paid to Worcester, MA City Employees Web Page.mht

    And whether it works or not, thanks for the chance to practice this new (to me) material using real world data.

  4. I tried it just in case– When I paste the web address into my browser, it does go to my excel workbook without any problem. And whenever I post links at other sites, they still work fine, but they don’t seem to work at this one any more. I double-checked the code…

  5. elmparkblogger

    I am proud to say that I gave ICT the idea to post ALL city salries on HER website. However because she doesn’t run her own website (a big mistake I said), she posts them in her hard copy.

    I actually wanted her to put on her front page a way for people to go and look up ANY city employee’s salary because I believe citizens, voters and taxpayers have a right to know.

    I think if I ran a local paper that is the sort of stuff I would post on my site along witha amap of crime states by address or neighborhoods (a good idea I got from blogger Will W. this week)..

    Then on Monday I heard Jordan Levy saying that posting that info is a big mistake. Unfortunately I didn’t hear the rest of it. I would have been interested to hear his side of this issue because I usually agree with him 80percent of the time.

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