In Boston, 1 in 4 city workers made six-figure incomes

One out of four full-time Boston municipal employees made more than $100,000 last year, a figure more than double the city’s median income.

Payroll records released Friday showed that the overwhelming majority of the city’s top earners worked for the Police Department, where 197 employees made more than the $175,000 salary of the mayor.

Police pay was boosted by a $12.8 million increase in overtime from last year, about a quarter of which was attributed to the response to the Boston Marathon bombings, city officials said. Officers earned $33 million more working construction details and security, which are paid largely by private companies.


Police pay did not include raises and back pay from an arbitration award approved late last year that city officials say will increase salaries by more than 25 percent over six years.

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In addition to costs associated with the aftermath of the Marathon bombings, significant police presence was needed because of the Red Sox World Series run and the Bruins’ presence in the Stanley Cup, said Sergeant Michael McCarthy, a Police Department spokesman.

“I know the overtime is an issue the mayor and the commissioner are trying to address,” McCarthy said. “However, the number of events we had last year pushed things above normal.”

Across all city departments, payroll swelled by 5.3 percent, to $1.4 billion. The increase was expected because the city settled the majority of its union contracts, said Boston’s chief financial officer, Meredith Weenick.

“Given that 91 percent of the city’s unionized workforce is now under contract, the increase in the city’s payroll was predictable,” Weenick said.


The largest payout went to police Officer Baltazar DaRosa, who received almost $294,000, records show. The bulk of his pay, more than $209,000, stemmed from a finding that DaRosa was unjustly fired in 2010 and was due back pay.

DaRosa was accused of being a getaway driver for his cousin after a fatal shooting in 2005 outside a Randolph nightclub. DaRosa was acquitted by a jury, but still fired by the Police Department.

Police Department employees accounted for 29 of the city’s top 30 earners. The exception was Carol R. Johnson, former school superintendent, who was paid $264,000.

The other end of the scale included school lunch monitors (average salary, $7,600); junior custodians on the night shift ($41,000); grave diggers ($39,000); and children’s librarians ($55,000).

Boston’s estimated median income in 2011 was $49,081, according to the US Census Bureau data. The payroll records released by the city included 22,469 full- and part-time employees. Boston had the equivalent of roughly 16,000 full-time employees by Jan. 1, city figures show.


The records, which were released to news organizations and posted on the city’s website, showed that 4,300 full-time employees were paid in excess of $100,000. At the state level, less than 7 percent of workers earn more than $100,000, according to records released earlier this week.

The Fire Department had the largest share of employees paid above that level. According to the records, 68 percent of the Fire Department’s workforce, 1,146 people out of 1,690, made more than $100,000. Fire Department employees were paid more than $20 million in overtime.

Three independent city agencies — the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Boston Housing Authority, and Boston Public Health Commission — also released 2013 payroll records. At the redevelopment authority, 31 of the 284 employees made $100,000 or more. The housing authority had 21 employees out of 1,124 who earned $100,000. At the public health agency, 72 of 1,593 were paid at that level.

Andrew Ryan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @globeandrewryan.