The City of Boston’s municipal payroll swelled to a new high of $1.6 billion last year, pushed higher by sick and vacation buyouts for retiring firefighters and overtime tabs exceeding $100,000 for 21 police officers.
In 2015, the city spent 4 percent more for workers’ salaries, according to data released Friday afternoon by Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s office.
The city paid four employees more than $300,000, including former schools superintendent John McDonough, who took home $338,000. McDonough retired last June, and his compensation included $168,000 for unused sick and vacation time, according to Walsh’s office.
Police Lieutenant Timothy M. Kervin was paid $348,000, which included $163,000 in overtime. Police Captain John H. Danilecki was paid $306,000, including $59,000 in overtime.
The highest-paid city worker was Emilio Cabanas, a Boston public schools employee who received a $354,000 legal settlement, according to the mayor’s office.
Another high earner was John Hasson, the Fire Department’s operations chief, who retired in March after a 42-year career and was paid $298,000. Hasson’s compensation included $188,000 for unused sick and vacation time.
The payroll records showed that 21,902 workers received pay from the city, which included full- and part-time employees and temporary workers. The payroll included 378 lunch-hour monitors (average pay: $9,216), 16 grave diggers (average pay: $35,000), and 160 junior custodians on the night shift (average pay: $49,000).
At the other end of the scale, 64 employees were paid more than $250,000, which included 57 police officers. At Boston public schools, more than 2,600 employees made at least $100,000, which was more than any city department.
One quirk in the payroll: The data showed Walsh was paid nearly $182,000, which represented more than the mayor’s annual salary. A city ordinance sets the mayor’s pay at $175,000.
The same was true for the 13 members of the City Council. They were paid almost $91,000 each, more than their annual salaries of $87,500.
Last year, the mayor and City Council fought over the council’s pay. Ultimately, councilors won a 14 percent pay hike, boosting their salaries to $99,500, which took effect last month. Walsh said he would not accept a raise during his first term in office.
Why did the mayor and city councilors’ pay increase in 2015 before the raises took effect? Walsh’s office said it was a quirk in the calendar.
“Every six years, there is an extra pay period,” said Walsh’s spokeswoman, Laura Oggeri.