Top 50 town salaries announced

Jul 5, 2018 by

Published in the July 5, 2018 edition


NORTH READING — The town has released its list of the top 50 salaries for calendar year 2017.

The town’s first responders topped the list, with 12 out of the top 15 wages earned by either police or fire personnel.

The top wage earner in 2017 was Det. Lt. Thomas Romeo. With over 30 years of tenure with the North Reading Police Department, Romeo’s salary, comprised of base pay, overtime pay and detail pay, totaled $206,318.

The second highest wage earner was Deputy Fire Chief Barry Galvin. With over 25 years of tenure with the North Reading Fire Department, Galvin’s salary, comprised of base pay, overtime pay, detail pay and the catch-all category of “other,” totaled $192,880.

Third on the list is another long-term police department employee, Lt. Mark Zimmerman. His salary, comprised of base pay, overtime pay, detail pay and “other,” totaled $189,757.

Fourth on the list is Police Chief Michael Murphy whose base salary of $173,164 plus money paid under the “other” category of $3,679 brought his 2017 gross salary to $176,843.

Fifth on the list is patrol officer Joseph Encarnacao. His salary, comprised of base pay, overtime pay, detail pay and “other,” totaled $173,790.

Superintendent of Schools Jon C. Bernard is sixth on the list and the top paid school department employee with a salary of $167,421 and earnings under “other” of $6,138 to bring his 2017 gross salary to $173,560.

Retired Fire Chief William Warnock was 11th on the list with a base salary of $139,782 and earnings from the “other” category of $13,441 for a total of $153,222 in 2017. He retired in late January so this will be his last year with a full salary after more than 35 years on the job.

Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto is the 12th highest paid town employee and the highest paid among the Town Hall employees with a base salary of $143,137 and $8,646 earned in the “other” category for a gross salary of $151,782 in 2017.

Assistant Superintendent Patrick Daly is the 16th highest paid town employee and the second highest among school department personnel with a base salary of $132,610 and “other” of $7,280 for a 2017 salary of $139,890.

You will have to go more than halfway down the list to find the first female town employee in the top 50 where Finance Director and Town Treasurer Elizabeth Rourke is ranked at 29th with a base salary of $118,405 combined with $5,975 earned in the “other” category for a gross salary of $124,380 in 2017. She is the second highest paid employee at Town Hall, behind the T.A.

More than just the “top 50”

But the list is more than just a simple accounting of the top 50 wage earners employed by the town. The Finance Department compiled a chart that explains in detail many of the factors that go into each of these employee’s paychecks to determine the final annual sum. (The chart is printed in today’s Transcript.)

Each employee’s base salary is listed as well as whether the employee is paid hourly or straight salary, which was a suggestion made by the Transcript for clarity.

For those employees paid on an hourly basis, the number of hours worked in the calendar year to earn their base salary is also listed. Salaried employees are generally not eligible for overtime pay so this column is left blank for them. Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto expressed a concern to the Transcript that he did not want the public to interpret this to mean that salaried employees do not work beyond the expected full-time schedule for their job description. He noted that these employees invest quite a bit of time beyond that minimum threshold getting their jobs done.

A separate column is devoted to the overtime salaries earned and the number of hours worked to earn that overtime pay. A total of 35 out of these 50 employees earned overtime pay in 2017. (It should be noted that there are two salaried school department employees, both principals, who each were paid a sum of $300 for what is documented as one hour of overtime on this chart; the remaining 33 employees earning overtime pay are paid hourly.)

For those employees eligible to earn detail pay, a separate column is devoted to those wages earned but not the number of hours spent working said details. Detail pay is comprised of funding from a variety of sources, not just the town coffers, typically from the agency requiring the service, such as a public utility company or a private or public contractor on a road construction detail or when a detail is required at accident scenes and fires.

Detail pay is also earned at public events, such as traffic detail during graduation or the Thanksgiving day game or details required during other functions (Town Meeting, town elections, high school musicals, etc.) and at private events, such as proms and large events or private parties held at function halls and restaurants, like large weddings).

The ubiquitous “other”

Also included in the chart is a catch-all column labeled “other” which accounts for money paid to the employee for any combination of purposes or stipends. These payments are required either through collective bargaining or contractual obligations. The purposes categorized as “other” on the chart are “vacation buyback, sick buyback, holiday, longevity, credit pay, coach, extracurricular, special projects, additional hours, beeper pay, clothing (allowance), auto (reimbursement) and retro (meaning retroactive pay, typically following the settlement of contracts or collective bargaining agreements).

By the numbers:

• 4 out of the top 50 were women

• 19 out of 50 were members of the police department

• 15 out of 50 were members of the fire department

• 13 out of 50 were members of the school department

• 3 out of 50 were non-union general government department heads

• 12 of the 13 school department personnel to make the Top 50 list are non-union salaried department heads while one is a teacher who supplements his income with coaching stipends.

• 4 out of 50 are no longer employed by the town; three retired and one left to return to private sector employment.

The salary range of the top 50 paid town employees was $104,897 to $206,318. This breaks down to:

• eight employee earning between $104,897 and $109,420;

• nine earning between $110,916 and $117,013;

• eight earning between $120,303 and $129,621;

• 10 earning between $130,330 and $139,890;

• three earning between $142,329 and $148,741;

• two earning between $151,782 and $153,222;

• four earning between $163,542 and $166,878; and

• six earning between $173,560 and $206,318.

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