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"These salaries seem too generous, and the compensation levels don't appear fiscally sane"

Ya think?

OCLG.jpgHigh pay and benefits for lifeguards in Newport Beach is the latest example of frustrating levels of compensation for public employees. More than half the city's full-time lifeguards are paid a salary of over $100,000 and all but one of them collect more than $100,000 in total compensation including benefits.

When thinking about career options with high salaries, lifeguarding is probably not one of the first jobs to come to mind. But it apparently should. In one of Orange County's most desirable beach destinations, Newport Beach, lifeguards are compensated all too well; especially compared with the county annual median household income of $71,735.

It might be time for a career change.

According to a city report on lifeguard pay for the calendar year 2010, of the 14 full-time lifeguards, 13 collected more than $120,000 in total compensation; one lifeguard collected $98,160.65. More than half the lifeguards collected more than $150,000 for 2010 with the two highest-paid collecting $211,451 and $203,481 in total compensation respectively. Even excluding benefits like health care and pension, more than half the lifeguards receive a total salary, including overtime pay, exceeding $100,000. And they also receive an annual allowance of $400 for "Sun Protection."

I don't know... I think that Sun Protection allowance is a bit much... I'm thinking they can get by on $200.

You?


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Comments (26)

The problem with socialism ... (Below threshold)
Caesar Augustus:

The problem with socialism is that eventually you get hit hard by the reality that public money doesn't grow on palm trees.

Hey! These are highly skill... (Below threshold)
Jim m:

Hey! These are highly skilled workers. They have to know important stuff like cpr and they have to know how to swim!! It's not like just anyone can do those things. Plus they face the risk of things like skin cancer because they are outside all the time.

I'll bet they have a union too.

Sun protection? Racist! </p... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Sun protection? Racist!

Hey, I'm kinda getting the hang of this liberal thing.

In the old days they were g... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

In the old days they were glorified beach bums, nowadays they are copper-toned Greek Gods..

Its all oh so nuanced.

Wow. I wonder what the high... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Wow. I wonder what the high paying jobs are.

And yet on Monday, Californ... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

And yet on Monday, California teachers swarmed over the capitol, chanting "tax, tax, tax the rich - we can fix the deficit!" Apparently no math teachers were in attendance . . .

But their biggest cheer was "You can't have first-class teaching on a Third World budget!" California's teachers are the highest paid in the country, yet their public schools are among the worst and getting worse all the time. For perspective, America spends more per student on public education than any other nation except Switzerland, but gets worse results than any other industrialized country.

Public education has become a joke. The best hope for reform is to start out by banning any union member from coming within 1000 feet of a public school.

But the cost of living in N... (Below threshold)
Imhotep:

But the cost of living in Newp's is so high! Waaaaaa.

WTF are you talking about? ... (Below threshold)
Chico:

WTF are you talking about? Didn't you ever watch Baywatch?

Worth every penny.

Missing data point: What i... (Below threshold)
James H:

Missing data point: What is their hourly pay rate?

There's a difference between somebody who pulls in $100k a year on a 40-hour a seek schedule and somebody who makes that on a 60-hour schedule. And if they are working a 60-hour schedule, that raises serious safety concerns. An exhausted lifeguard is hardly likely to be an effective lifeguard.

James H.:Clicking ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

James H.:

Clicking on links and reading is tough, huh?

Here, let me help. 3rd paragraph down:

Many work four days a week, 10 hours a day.

If you can name one public employee that would be allowed to work a 60-hour workweek under union rules (or even gov't rules), I'll sit under the Space Needle, boil my shoes and eat them.

Peter F.The men an... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

Peter F.

The men and women of our Armed Forces (all of whom are Government Employees) frequently work in excess of 60 hours a week.

Please be sure to post the video of your shoe banquet.

Clicking on links ... (Below threshold)
James H:
Clicking on links and reading is tough, huh?

I did read it, but I missed that sentence. Serves me right for leaving my glasses at home.

But I have my reasons for raising the hours question. I know that in a number of state pension systems, you take-home is determined by your wages earned in your last year of service. So, toward the end of their tenure, government employees will pile on overtime in order to maximize their retirement benefits.

Peter, Rodney's point is a ... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Peter, Rodney's point is a good one. Underway we worked Port and Starboard shifts during deployments. That's 24 out of every 48 hour period, once for six months.

I do know what you wanted to say, but you didn't. Bon appetit!

The men and women of our... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

The men and women of our Armed Forces (all of whom are Government Employees) frequently work in excess of 60 hours a week.

I think you know what I meant even if, as UOG pointed out, I failed to say it.

Here, I'll restate it:

If you can name one public employee division where safety is an issue, and excluding the Armed Services, that would be allowed to work a 60-hour workweek under union rules (or even gov't rules), I'll sit under the Space Needle, boil my shoes and eat them.

Better? I hope so. These shoes are a bit rank.

Say what you mean, mean wha... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

Say what you mean, mean what you say, stop shifting the goal posts.

Post the video of your shoe repast at your earliest convenience.

Peter:If... (Below threshold)
James H:

Peter:

If you can name one public employee division where safety is an issue, and excluding the Armed Services, that would be allowed to work a 60-hour workweek under union rules (or even gov't rules), I'll sit under the Space Needle, boil my shoes and eat them.

">You. Space Needle. Shoes. Now.

Stupid HTML. Peter: <a hr... (Below threshold)
James H:

Stupid HTML. Peter: You. Space Needle. Shoes. Now.

Put them on merit pay -the ... (Below threshold)
Don L:

Put them on merit pay -the more they save the more they get paid. Double time when maurading great-white sharks are around.

Last try. <a href="http://... (Below threshold)
James H:

Last try. This link

RG I like you point about m... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

RG I like you point about military service. However you are overdoing your rebuttal to Peter. When someone talks about Government employees in general, it is assumed that they are talking about typical government employees. Presidents, politicians, military, Police Officers, field agents are not generally included. It is like when people about military personnel and Civilians. Military personnel are civilians which is good to remind people at times. However when people talk about the two it is understood what is meant instead of the technical accuracy of the statements.

Yes it is fun to sharp shoot people statements at times on technicalities but people shouldn't overdo it.

Wayne,Peter was ge... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

Wayne,

Peter was getting rather specific.

Frankly, the Armed Forces, across the board, are overworked and underpaid to a shocking degree. They are also at considerably greater danger than law enforcement and emergency services, who are better compensated than they.

Say what you mean, mean what you say.

Perhaps its changed, but so... (Below threshold)
James H:

Perhaps its changed, but some years ago, I saw a pay survey of the armed forces vs. the private sector. It yielded an interesting set of comparisons shape. Essentially, the low end and the high end, that is privates on the one hand and generals on the other, made much less than their private-sector counterparts. But in between -- the "middle management" of the military, for lack of a better term -- actually earned pay equal to or even exceeding their counterparts in the civilian sector.

Of course, that all goes out the window with combat pay.

James H.Generally ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

James H.

Generally those studies include quite a bit of "salary" for benefits earned by the military. They do not take into account that not all members of the military are eligible for those benefits. Also they dont take into account the 12 hour days 5-7 days a week which the military work just about every week and the myriad of other challenges associated with military service.


Big difference, active/inac... (Below threshold)
DJ:

Big difference, active/inactive/reservists are not union members as part of being service members.

RG it seems you are being s... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

RG it seems you are being sensitive about the military for some reason. That fact still doesn’t change the fact you are taking Peter statement out of context. Like I said I like your original point since it was a good little reminder about being specific. However going on and on about it was lame.

Back when I was still going to the field, we would go out 24\7 for a month or more out in the field sleeping 2 to 3 hours a night on the ground. We sometimes would get a four day weekend when we return. It was amazing when some of the garrison troops that typically work part of the day of a 5 day work week complained that they didn’t get it also. Whatever you do there are people who have it rougher or easier. Things are what they are. The point is people will find something to complain about regardless of their situation.

Some of those complaints are more valid than others like IMO paying lifeguards $200,000 a year.

Wayne,Not being a ... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

Wayne,

Not being a mind-reader, I responded to what Peter actually wrote:

If you can name one public employee that would be allowed to work a 60-hour workweek under union rules (or even gov't rules), I'll sit under the Space Needle, boil my shoes and eat them.

Nor have I been the one going on and on about it, but answering the apologia.




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