Never Mind the City's Budget Crisis: Supervisors, Mayor to Get Pay Raise

Categories: Government, WTF?
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Pay raises won't help close the budget gap
Closing a multimillion-dollar budget deficit is no easy task -- and handing out raises to elected officials will only make it that much harder.

The Examiner reports today that in the face of a $300 million budget crisis, the Civil Service Commission has reportedly signed off on raises for city officials, including the Board of Supervisors, the mayor, and the city attorney.

Right now, city supes take home $96,549 annually, yet the commission is giving them a roughly $2,000 raise. The city attorney will make off with an extra $4,000, while the mayor will get a $5,462 raise, bringing his salary to $252,935 annually.

Just counting the Board of Supervisors' raises, that's nearly $22,000 extra that taxpayers are shelling out for pay increases while city departments look to cut homeless services and health programs. The raises would have been higher if it weren't for pay concessions made by all city workers, according to the city's human resources department.

We get it. Elected officials are underpaid for the work they do, but it wasn't that long ago that the mayor and supervisors were blasting Muni operators for taking millions in pay raises and being the only union to not give back during last year's budget crisis. It was these built-in raises that made Muni operators the second-highest-paid transit workers in the nation, and it led to Supervisor Sean Elsbernd to go to voters and effectively force Muni into collective bargaining -- meaning no more automatic raises.

So how might voters feel about this latest round of pay increases? First the school board asks for raises -- significant ones -- on the same night the district handed out hundreds of pink slips to teachers. And now city officials, who have already asked departments to cut their own budgets by 20 percent, are set to put more money into their own pockets.

San Francisco's Human Resources Director Micki Callahan tells the Ex that she wasn't sure whether the commission had a choice about doling out the raises. She did note that even with the pay increases, city supervisors are still receiving salaries that are well below 2009 levels.

Well, there's the silver lining.

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Supervisors used to make very little money - many made less than their aides. Voters approved the pay hike a while back.

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