As BART prepares to ask voters next week to approve a $3.5 billion bond measure to upgrade the aging system, many people are talking about how one janitor made more than $230,000 last year.
The janitor made $234,591 in gross cash in 2015, according to the website Transparent California. The public records show the janitor’s regular pay is $57,946 and he earned $162,000 in overtime.
BART Spokeswoman Alicia Trost knows some may wonder how that could happen.
“When we post the overtime hours, he takes them,” she said. “He is literally working every single day of the year. I spoke to his supervisors over the phone. They said he is an extremely dedicated and diligent worker.”
But BART critic, Senator Steve Glazer, said this isn’t an isolated incident.
“It’s hundreds of employees at BART making huge amounts of money in overtime and many of them in safety positions where they shouldn’t be making overtime,” he said. “There are train operators getting twice their salary in overtime.”
Trost said it is cheaper for BART to pay overtime than it is to hire more employees and pay for their benefits, pension, retirement, and medical costs.
The salary information comes as BART prepares to ask voters to approve a $3.5 billion dollar bond measure, Measure RR, on next week’s ballot to upgrade the aging system.
“They’re completely separate,” Trost said. “Our bond measure is to fix the infrastructure of our system. It has nothing to do with salaries. The bond measure can’t be used for salaries. It’s used to replace rail, tunnels, powering systems.”
Glazer understands the measure, but feels there are issues with management.
“Well, we need BART to be improved so it is a problem, but do you trust them to use the money right,” Glazer added.
Gail Murray, who sits on the BART Board of Directors, said Measure RR is important for voters to pass because they would be able to fix the system at a lower interest rate than when it was first built.
Murray said the board did think the overtime numbers were outrages for the janitor and others in 2015, but they have since hired 11 more cleaners and overtime has been drastically reduced.