Carl Demaio Challenges Public Firefighter Pay/Benefits!

You have to give a high five to Carl Demaio for twisting the tiger’s tail–taking on the San Diego Firefighters.

For some unknown reason, firefighters (who seldom fight fires) are among the Holiest of society–although recently their halo has become somewhat tarnished.

In my fire district, Firefighters attend things other that fires more than 90% of the time. That they do a job that is dangerous there is no doubt, although it does not rank in the top ten of dangerous professions, and for people with no requirement above a high school diploma, they are exceedingly well paid.

So, when Carl produces a document showing the vast difference between firefighter/paramedic in the he private sector and the public sector in numbers, you can easily see the problem.

But seeing the problems, and solving the problems are two vastly different things.

The official report from Carl is only three pages long and the details are easy to read http://kpbs.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/news/documents/2011/04/21/SDFD_Comp.pdf, but I will summarize them here:

An Emergency Medical Tech gets a total yearly salary plus benefits of $30,240.00 in the private sector, and $71,556 when working for San Diego, a difference of $137%.

A Fireman II/EMT gets a total salary and benefits package of $30,240 when working for a private concern, and $128,406.13 when working in San Diego, a difference of 325%.

A Paramedic gets a salary and benefits package of $57,330.00 when working for a private concern, but $103,138.48 when working for the City of San Diego, a difference of 80%.

A combination of Firefighter II and Paramedic in the private sector receives $57,330 in the private sector, but in the City of San Diego receives $138,976.69, a difference of 142%.

These sorts of disparities in pay are the direct results of public sector union support of candidates through campaign donations and endorsements, and until they stop – or until the public recognizes the problem and defeats every union-supported political candidate.

When wearing the union label in an election is counter-productive, we will again gain control of the political process. Right now, it is a union-driven, public funded ATM machine for public service workers.

Carl deserves to be the next Mayor of San Diego. He is fearless!

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