Monday, February 11, 2008

Commentary #2 Toledo Budget 2008 Payroll

In an attempt to determine salaries and benefits for all city employees, I went through the budget and created the classification “payroll” and then sub-accounts to describe the expense.
Payroll analysis

The following is a summary of the wage and benefits for the Employees of the City of Toledo which are projected for 2008:

2978 Estimated # of employees for 2008
$51,711 Average wage
$29,806 Average benefits
$81,517 Total average wages and benefits
$242,757,173 Total estimated wages and benefits 2008

The 3 major increases are for Base Salaries, 9%, Retirement Contributions by the City, 18.5%, and Medical Insurance, 22.9%. There is also 2.9 million allotted for “severance” (63.7%) for 2008. It would be an alert City Council who would seek a benchmark of the private sector to determine comparable wage and benefit packages for comparison to use as a model in the next negotiations with the unions.

With an increase in medical insurance of almost $7,000,000 dollars, it is necessary to expect city employees to pay a portion of the benefits. At $200 per month (on average), almost $7,000,000 in contributions to the plan would be generated. Additionally, co-pay for doctor visits and prescription drugs of $15 to $20 would be appropriate. The study of private industry would help in the decision on how to manage the benefits in the future.

The retirement benefit package needs to be revised, we cannot continue paying 28% towards the Pers program.

Why is Personnel Services Reimbursement cut by $731,000 + ?

In looking at the negatives on these last categories, are we confident the estimates are accurate? For example, why a negative on “compensated absences” unless it was applied to a different line item; if so, what line item has absorbed this cost; if not, an explanation is warranted.

It is obvious the payroll budget has outpaced the revenue of the city and the private sector, it must be amended.

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