KFD overtime audit findings
LIHU‘E — An audit of the Kaua‘i Fire Department’s overtime practices has revealed that, rank-for-rank, training and the Sparky Trailer have contributed most to potential pension-spiking.
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The KFD gas theft ring continues…
Without any accountability and the expense of of tax paying residents.
Someone ask Bernard Carvalho Jr. why hasn’t the county of Kauai hired a county auditor since the Pasikn debacle that cost the tax payers probably around a million in settlement and attorney fees.
The article states “One fire captain earned $164,259 in total pay, of which overtime was $146,307.”
this means his base pay was only
164,000-146,000=18,000. Not a very good salary for a captain. I think these auditors are off base of those numbers are an example of the audit
Guess who ultimately will be forced to take responsibility? TAXPAYERS. None of the criminals will receive a reduced pension.
This is yet again proof that KFD, like many government organizations, does not have the public’s best interests in mind.
Many readers will cry “but they are heros, risking their lives every day!” Not true. A fundamental rule of first response is NOT to become another victim.
Thinks are shifting in many ways. Time for a shift to a combined paid and volunteer fire department?
Pension spiking, using overtime has been a problem I HAWAII for decades. Hence the reason for the huge deficit in the retirement fund. Im quite sure that all it takes to correct the situation is for our state legislature to pass a law restricting pension calculations to BASE SALARIES ONLY. But our legislature won’t do that because they’re afraid of losing endor$ments $$$ from the union$.
In the near future when we have to face cutbacks on Sevices let’s be sure to look back at this and other gross examples of ripping off the taxpayers. That is what this is, a rip off!
A few things don’t add up, like this:
“One fire captain earned $164,259 in total pay, of which overtime was $146,307.”
Does this mean a Fire Captain who works no OT would have a salary of only $17,952? Not likely. That cannot be the basic salary for a Captain, obviously.
Starting pay for Hawaii firefighter is a little above $40k They are covered by one CBA. The median for captain is $78k some are higher. So a Kauai captain gross pay was $164,259 for the year, he essentially double or thereabout his base pay. If you do this in your last three years before retirement which a common practice could mean an extra $300 – $400. in pension pay.
I think the error was in reporting not with accountants or auditors.
The problem of Overtime is not only to Firefighters. It is found across government employees due to CBA. In fact in practice, retiring workers are encourage to take all the overtime they can if they want their retirement jacked up. Department managers are complicit to this practices. As I said before, retirement pay should be based only on base pay. A retiring employee’s base pay is higher anyway after putting in 25 – 30 years of service.
First off, the individuals who “spiked” are gone and retired. So calling the current workforce is somewhat disingenuous. Maybe not entirely, but somewhat.
Next, future retirees across most government service employees are working under revised stipulations (must work more years until retirement, work until an older age, while contributing higher percentage of their pay to retirement)
Also retirement will only be calculated from base salary and not overtime worked.
My uncle was a firefighter on the mainland, but I believe it’s the same across the country. Firefighters are not eligible for social security. Only their pensions (which they pay into throughout their careers).
My uncle is not a criminal, he was a professional. I think the same can be said for most Kauai firefighters.
Unfortunately, it sounds like those that took advantage of a loophole in the system racked up a hefty bill and left others to pay it.
At least we are looking at it finally. First step to fixing it. What about the cops? I hear that’s the same.