According to the website Transparent California, the average MOFD firefighter’s salary, including overtime, was $148,000 for calendar year 2016.
On July 1, 2016 they received a 7.0% raise; on July 1, 2017 they received a 5.4% increase; on June 1, 2018 they received a final 1.0% increase. This could increase the $148,000 earned in 2016 to $163,000 by June 30, 2018, the end of the last contract.
In addition they receive workers’ compensation insurance, medical, and retiree medical and pension benefits.
Workers Comp for 2018-19 is $750,000. This would be almost all for the 60 firefighters (very little for office staff), equating to $12,000 per firefighter.
The 2018/19 budget for health and life insurance is $1.1 million. Spread across 70 employees that averages $16,000 per employee.
Future retiree medical benefits have both a “normal cost” (the cost to pay for newly vested benefits), and a cost to pay down the unfunded future liabilities. The normal cost is about $460,000. The cost to pay down the $15 million unfunded future benefits, using MOFD’s agreed upon 6.25% asset earning rate and a term of 18 years, would be $1.41 million per year. The total $1.87 million, spread across 60 firefighters, equates to $30,000 per firefighter.
The next cost element is the Pension Obligation Bond (POB) which is just a form of pension funding. This year the cost of the POB is $3.3 million which equates to $55,000 per firefighter.
Next is the pension payment to CCCERA. The budgeted cost this year is $5 million which is almost all for the 60 firefighters; equating to $80,000 per firefighter.
Finally is the amortization of the $20 million of additional pension liability due to the fact that MOFD is assuming a 6.25% asset earning rate as opposed to CCCERA’s 7.00%. Amortizing that over 18 years results in a cost of $1.8 million per year or $30,000 per firefighter.
The total cost of benefits is $223,000. Added to the salary of $163,000 results in a total compensation of $386,000 for the AVERAGE MOFD firefighter.