Lynn’s Municipal Salaries Hold no Surprises

April 19, 2011
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The recent release by the city of Lynn’s municipal salaries – that is – the amount of money taxpayers are forking over to pay our various public employees for their yearly pay, shows no meaningful trends and gives away no surprises.

At the highest level and slightly below, salaries are about as high as they can go.

At the lowest level of employment, they are about as low as they can go.

It was just a rehash of the last year’s list with minor adjustments here and there.

A hundred people receive enormous salaries with the remainder of city employees and those in the school department receiving much smaller salaries, with the working rank and file receiving salaries that are frankly an embarrassment compared with those of the highest paid.

Once again, the mayor of the city, who ought to be paid more than anyone else, is so far down the list of highest paid it is frankly a joke.

There are police Lt.’s who make more than the mayor. There are principals of the public schools who make more than the mayor.

City employee salaries here reveal the extent to which city employees have gained in stature as well as in salary during the past 20 years.

The school superintendent remains the highest paid in the city at a tad under $200,000. The fire and police chiefs are up high and a few of the people at the Water and Sewer Commission are doing pretty well for themselves.

The city continues to hemorrhage money, tens of millions of dollar every year, paying for city employee health insurance premiums which the city’s labor unions have refused to negotiate away.

This will be changing out of necessity as the amount those premiums are rising from year to year is unsustainable for the city if it hopes to manage a balance budget with a full compliment of city employees to man the office and machines of city government.

The new state budget being written by the House of Representatives provides for cities and towns to do what is best for their budgets when it comes to employee paid for health insurance without the permission of labor unions, although in Boston Mayor Thomas Menino is making certain labor unions have the right to bargain with the city regarding their health insurance programs and premiums.

In Lynn, it is expected that city employees will join the state health insurance consortium to bring the cost of city paid for health insurance down.

In a city like Lynn, such a change could mean a $7 million yearly savings for the next five years.

Also, city employees will be asked to pay a larger share of their health premiums and a slightly higher co-pay in order to bring runaway costs into balance.

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