How Much Employees In Moraga-Orinda Fire District Earn

The state controller's office has released a 2011 study on salaries and benefits received by county, city and special district employees

The Moraga-Orinda Fire District has the 10th highest average employee salary among the 1,504 special districts listed in a new public pay study.

The state Controller's Office has put the 2011 salary and benefits information on a website. It details city, county and special district payrolls.

The average salary for special districts across California was $54,468 a year. The annual salary in the Moraga-Orinda Fire District was almost double at $108,137.

Here's an overview of some of those numbers.

2011 Salary Study Moraga Orinda Fire Special Districts Employees 87 67 (average) Average Salary $108,137 $54,468 Total Wages $9.4 million $5.5 billion

Here's the top 10 wage earners in the Moraga-Orinda Fire District for 2011. The employees are listed by position only.

The salaries include regular pay, overtime, lump sums and other payments. The benefits and pension are what the district contributed to the employee's plan.

Employee Salary Benefits Pension Division Chief 20 Years $242,616 $15,706 $5,925 Division Chief 20 Years $237,076 $15,706 $5,998 Fire Captain Paramedic I $210,147 $6,061 $4,618 Engineer Paramedic I $196,467 $14,115 $4,096 Battalion Chief $191,160 $15,706 $5,473 Fire Chief $189,600 $15,706 $7,413 Engineer Paramedic I $173,456 $15,706 $4,096 Fire Captain Paramedic I $167,838 $15,706 $4,618 Battalion Chief $167,828 $15,706 $4,951 Engineer Paramedic II $163,212 $15,706 $3,846
Janet Maiorana March 07, 2013 at 10:03 PM
Chris, Orinda costs should be based on the cost of fire fighters service to the Orinda ciitzen which includes the cost of their unfunded liability. In 1992, prior to the formation of MOFD, Moraga passed a 30 cent Fire Flow Tax to cover their Fire District costs. After Orinda detached from Con Fire and MOFD was formed, Moraga did not have to use their 30 cent Fire Flow Tax over the 6 cent Fire Flow Tax both communities pay. That speak volumes about Orinda subsidizing Moraga. Scenarios: 1. Meaningful changes from MOFD. 2. The Orinda City Council acts as the lead agency to detach from MOFD as they detached from Con Fire in order to stop Orinda taxpayers from subsiding other communities. Since both scenarios are far fetched, the Orinda tax payer will keep on paying an entitlement to Moraga. . MORAGA ORIGINAL says we are a bunch of idiots, and to pay our taxes and shut our mouths. He has no worries.
Scott March 14, 2013 at 03:23 AM
Carol, I doubt you care about the truth but firefighters in the MOFD cannot sell back vacation NOR can they add it to their final salary for pension calculations. A small number of Chiefs had a provision allowing for this but it is being phased out. San Ramon Valley firefighters and chiefs can do this, but I believe they are phasing out as well. Firefighters throughout the Bay Area work a base schedule of 56 hours a week, and 120 shifts a year. The numbers listed above are inclusive of overtime but this table does not delineate that and, I believe, is purposefully trying to incite a "riot". When you do simple math, which I am certain you are capable of, the average $200k firefighter you want to crow about, in the greater Bay Area, makes about $40 - 47 an hour. That plumber you called last month to unclog your toilet makes more. Per Diem nurses at John Muir are DOUBLING that rate. Where is the outrage over your health insurance premiums supporting those wages for nurses? I'll bet your annual outlay for health insurance FAR OUTSTRIPS the portion of your annual property taxes allocated for fire protection.
Steve Cohn March 14, 2013 at 02:43 PM
@ Scott: Carol wants the truth as do we all. The bottom line is firefighters are very expensive because it costs a lot of money so save enough over 30 years of work (20-50) to live on full salary plus cost of living increases plus medical for the next 30 years (50-80). That is why most people work and save until they are 65 or even longer. The bottom line is it costs about $200,000 per year per firefighter, salary and benefits, in MOFD excluding the cost of unfunded benefits which cost, or should cost, about another $100,000. (Table IV-3 in the Orinda Task Force report - http://orindataskforce.org/tables) There are 19 firefighters on shift and three shifts so 57 firefighters. They cover each other's sick leave, vacation, etc. with overtime so the $200,000 is for 122 24-hour days. That equates to $68 per hour. During those 24 hour days, on average, they attend to slightly less than two incidents (Table III-1 which is the total for seven operating units), eat and sleep. They are on-duty and getting compensated for every hour of the day, whether they are actually "working" or not. The plumber you mentioned is only getting paid when he is actually plumbing, not 24 hours a day for the days he is "on call". You should give us a "diary" of what a firefighter does while not actually on an incident so we have a better idea of what a firefighter does in the 20+ hours in a day they are not actively saving lives.
Carol Penskar March 16, 2013 at 04:05 AM
@ Scott: I agree with everything that Steve Cohn wrote and I thank him for pointing out your apples to oranges analysis. I do care about the truth which is why I have a copy of your labor contract and quote out of it in my posts here. As for my property taxes and pension spiking: I once calculated (while at one of the endless meetings on how much money the MOFD spends) that just Nowicki's pension claims $35 of my annual property taxes. This didn't even include his lifetime medical benefits or that his pension is inflation protected. His pension is over 15 times what the social security administration tells me I will collect. I have to wait until age 66. He got to start about 15 years earlier than me. One of your retired firefighters was doing work on the side in video production and real estate even before he retired and continues to do so while pocketing a very nice 6 figure MOFD pension. As Chair of the Orinda Finance Advisory Committee, I know that the City has only a defined contribution plan for retirement and no City-paid post-retirement medical. They seem to have no problem attracting and retaining qualified persons. For a recent posting for a professional analyst position, they had about 65 applicants. A February CC Times article on Bay Area police hiring said that a small number of police jobs in the Bay Area had "provoked a feverish response."
Carol Penskar March 16, 2013 at 04:15 AM
@ Scott again ps: In the 7/20/09 Wall Street Journal article on the great success that Nowicki had in spiking what the Journal called "an additional $1 million or more" into his lifetime retirement payments, then vice president and now current Board President Frank Sperling said: "The system itself is broken. We need to change the system." Unfortunately, Mr. Sperling did not put a time frame on when he plans to do this. Nearly 4 years later, with the MOFD approaching insolvency, the citizens of Orinda and Moraga are still waiting for his needed fix.


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