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Published December 08, 2012, 03:18 PM

St. Paul firefighters use OT to score big paydays

ST. PAUL, Minn. — St. Paul's eight highest-paid employees last year were supervisors in the fire department, who made anywhere from $136,000 to $260,000.

ST. PAUL, Minn. — St. Paul's eight highest-paid employees last year were supervisors in the fire department, who made anywhere from $136,000 to $260,000.

Base salaries for the deputy and district chiefs range from $87,500 to $111,000. But a St. Paul Pioneer Press report (http://bit.ly/VvzvNa ) says the supervisors were able to clock huge amounts of overtime. That let them boost their paychecks and also sets them up for higher pension checks when they retire.

Their union is the Fire Supervisory Association. It has an unusual contract clause that guarantees each deputy and district chief 192 overtime hours per year.

Union president Patrick Smith says those employees are working long hours because of understaffing.

But critics call the system unfair, saying junior employees are getting squeezed out of overtime opportunities.

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