Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Created: 02/27/2012 05:05:15 PM PST

Compensation for sworn police and fire personnel in 2011
(does not include benefits)

UPLAND – In 2011, 87 fire and police personnel made more than $100,000 in compensation, totaling more than $11 million.

That’s 68.5 percent of the city’s public-safety employees.

Councilwoman Debbie Stone requested the salary information, which does not include benefits, at the Feb. 13 council meeting.

She has since amended her request to include all city employees who make more than $100,000.

In an email, Stone said she is not ready to comment on the information, but Mayor Ray Musser said the request was wise.

“We are struggling with costs,” Musser said. “Overtime is one of the questions. There’s a lot of overtime in all those figures and how can we reduce that? And it just must be dealt with.”

The city is negotiating a new contract with Upland firefighters while facing a potential $1 million gap in the 2012-13 fiscal year budget.

Firefighters have been working without a contract since July.

Michael Carney, the president of the Upland Professional Firefighters, said in a news release that the main reason the salaries surpass $100,000 is overtime.

Overtime includes “constant staffing,” which requires a minimum number of firefighters on duty daily.

In Upland, 13 firefighters are required to be on duty every day.

If a firefighter is out due to illness, vacation or injury, another one is brought in on overtime.

“Firefighters already work a 53-hour work week before any overtime, so most firefighters are forced to work 24 to 48 extra hours per month to provide the required `constant staffing’ to keep the emergency units staffed 24 hours, seven days a week,” he said.

Other overtime costs include off-duty classes or training, which has been reduced, he said.

Carney said he could not comment on any requested contract increases.

“We will continue to work with the City Council and city manager on creative solutions to reach a new agreement during these challenging economic times,” he said.

City Manager Stephen Dunn said he has made cuts to overtime.

“Now, I’ve gone after overtime in the past, but more so in this year’s budget because of the fact I was in charge,” said Dunn, who was hired as city manager in June. “I initially cut it in half and said, `Figure out a way to work within this.”‘

Dunn said he is considering asking the City Council to agree to close a station if there are not enough firefighters to man an engine.

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