Pittsburgh minimize time beyond regulation in 2020, however the wage hole endured – PublicSource

The city of Pittsburgh’s employees collectively earned more in 2020 than in 2019, despite a pandemic and financial crisis that led to a hiring freeze earlier this year and threats of layoffs until federal aid came in 2021.

PublicSource has been researching the city’s payroll every year since 2014, and the 2020 edition is unique in its environmental conditions and challenges. The city continued to struggle with the diversity of its workforce, an issue that worsened slightly in 2020. Overtime remained a significant cost factor, although operational changes due to the pandemic resulted in a significant decrease.

The city’s Open Records Office provided the salary record, the includes everyone who has worked for the city for at least one day in the past year and does not represent the size of the workforce at any given time.

Pay by department

The Bureau of Police paid its employees $ 105.7 million in 2020, more than any other city department and nearly double what it was for public works, parks and recreation, management and household, mobility and infrastructure, law, finance , Urban Planning, City Council and the City Controller combined.

More than $ 12 million of police wages was overtime, with the office’s employees making an average of $ 9,723 in overtime. Sgt. Phillip Carey earned the most overtime at $ 84,890, and six other police officers earned more than $ 50,000 in overtime.

Police officers also made just over $ 4 million in fringe allowances (such as longevity pay and buybacks for personal vacation) averaging $ 3,223 per employee in 2020.

The Bureau of Police’s total median total wage – $ 93,687 – was approximately $ 27,000 higher than the city’s total median total wage. The average base salary for the police is just over $ 69,000, about $ 3,000 more than that of the city’s full-time employees as a whole. (Base pay only includes annual salary, while total pay includes overtime, additional income and benefits.)

In total, the city paid $ 29.6 million to employees on top of their base salary, including $ 19.7 million for overtime and $ 9.9 million for other bonuses. In 2019, the city spent $ 59.2 million on employees above their base salary.

When asked how the city reduced overtime and extra costs so dramatically, Dan Gilman, Mayor Bill Peduto’s chief of staff, said the pandemic had caused unusual overtime patterns, with some departments increasing overtime and others decreasing significantly.

We always try to control surgery costs, but they are also a necessary and expected part of our budget, ”Gilman said of staff emergencies and illness.

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The ambulance service paid its employees a total of $ 18.6 million and was home to some of the city’s highest paid employees.

The city’s top total earner was EMS crew chief Jerome Wasek, who took home $ 296,891 in 2020 after earning $ 164,342 of overtime and $ 17,793 in bonuses. Another crew chief, Gregory Tersine, earned $ 150,857 in overtime to take home $ 267,679 in total wages. Another employee, medic Anthony DeSantis, earned more than $ 100,000 in overtime.

The rest of the top 25 total earners were police or fire service employees.

Top earners

All 25 top earners were male (the top-earning woman was in 27th place overall). 22 of the top earners were white and three were black.

The 19th highest earner was the police officer Paul Abel, who in December after a Series of controversial incidents. He took home $ 199,075 around $ 25,907 in 2020, including overtime pay.

Demographic differences

Pittsburgh’s population is 51% female, compared to 24% of city workers. The city is 65% white compared to 76% white city workers.

Black residents make up 23% of the city’s population, but 18% of city workers and 5.8% of city dwellers are Asians compared to 1.1% of city workers.

These differences were larger in 2020 than in 2019. In 2020, urban workers were proportionally more male (74% to 77%) and white (75% to 77%); white men made up 60% of all city workers.

The wage differentials also widened in 2020. Among the full-time employees, the average base salary of men was approximately $ 13,000 higher than that of women. Including overtime and other allowances, the gap is more than $ 28,000.

White employees earned an average base salary of about $ 18,000 more than black employees and at least $ 4,000 more than any other ethnic group. Including overtime and bonuses, white employees took home an average salary $ 24,000 higher than black employees.

Gilman attributed the disproportionate number of white and male employees – and the wage gap – to the fact that the Public Safety Department, which is over 80% white and male, has the largest number of employees and the highest salaries.

Gilman said Peduto “worked hard to improve the diversity of the public safety department,” suggesting the city could see results in the years to come. He also noted that the mayor’s office and cabinet of directors are the most diverse in the city in terms of race and gender.

Earn more than Peduto

Peduto earned $ 121,797 in 2020. Five employees earned a higher base salary than Peduto, but 453 employees made more when overtime was factored in. Of these, 400 were white and 428 were male. Peduto’s chief of staff Dan Gilman earned $ 125,280.

The shortlist of employees with a higher base salary than the mayor is led by Wendell Hissrich, director of public safety ($ 131,324) and police chief Scott Schubert ($ 126,035).

Charlie Wolfson is PublicSource’s local government reporter and a Corps member of Report for America. He can be reached at charlie@publicsource.org and on Twitter @chwolfson.

This story has been reviewed by Xiaohan Liu and Chris Hippensteel.

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