Press Release: Berkeley Civic Group Finds Annual Berkeley Overtime Payments Significantly Above Twelve-City Average. Group Requests Immediate Action.

From Jacquelyn McCormick, Berkeley Budget SOS
Monday June 06, 2011 - 12:05:00 PM

A comparative analysis of overtime payments in twelve regional municipalities by the civic group Berkeley Budget SOS reveals that the City of Berkeley annually spends above the average for overtime, as adjusted for population. If Berkeley reduced its overtime payments to the twelve-city per capita average, up to $30M in annual savings could be achieved while still leaving $17.5 M available for overtime expenses. 

The analysis uses the Public Employees Salaries Database and breaks down overtime payments by four categories—police, fire, public works, and administration/other. For police, Berkeley overtime payments are 218% above the regional average, for fire 138% higher, for public works 314% higher, and for administration 15% higher. 

According to project coordinator Jacquelyn McCormick, former Bank of America executive, “The City of Berkeley has hundreds of million of dollars worth of unfunded liability for pensions and physical infrastructure. Additionally, the Reserve Fund for emergencies is substantially underfunded. Recapturing this $30M in excess overtime payments each and every year would go a long way toward addressing these critical items and continue funding for vital safety-net services.” 

Berkeley Budget SOS is a civic organization dedicated to fiscal clarity, accountability and sustainability in the City of Berkeley. Its members include economists, attorneys, business executives and concerned citizens. It produces articles, analyses, insights and recommendations aimed at resolving the City’s fiscal challenges without additional taxation to its already financially-burdened residents. 

A complete copy of the report “Comparing Berkeley to Other Regional Municipalities: Overtime Above Base Salary Analysis” can be found on berkeleycouncilwatch.com.