From the lede in a story in today's Sacramento Bee:
Some of California's rank-and-file firefighters earn so much money in overtime that the state has revived pay bonuses worth thousands of dollars to lure them into management.
"Basically, when you're an assistant chief, you make less money, have more responsibility and work longer hours," said Dale Hutchinson, who as southern region chief hires Cal Fire managers for half the state. "It's been a standing issue for years."And, of course, the solution is to increase pay for managers, not to rethink a system in which "planned overtime" means that the average annual take-home pay for battalion chiefs (the rank of firefighters that would normally be in line for the management positions) surpasses $115,000. This may be a race to the top for California firefighters, but it's a race to the bottom for California taxpayers.