The highest paid worker at Miami City Hall is taking a pay cut, a really big one.
City Attorney Julie Bru, whose compensation package is worth about $400,000, is expected to take a cut in excess of $100,000.
“It's a substantial reduction in salary and a substantial reduction in benefits” said Miami City Commissioner Francis Suarez, who has been negotiating with Bru. “Her package will be much more in line with somebody of her equivalent stature, not only in relation to other attorneys in Florida, but also in comparison with the private sector.”
Bru is tops on the payroll list, but she isn’t the only about to lose some coin.
City Clerk Priscilla Thompson, who ranks 26th on the city salary list, has been negotiating with city commissioners on reducing her compensation, too. Her total compensation package is a little more than $300,000.
Thompson’s base salary is about $226,000. She enjoys 45 days of paid vacation, and like other city employees, she has health and retirement benefit.
“We haven't completed negotiations at this time,” Thompson said. “I'm not surprised city officials have come to me given the financial conditions, it would be expected.”
Because of the city's budget crisis commission chairman Marc Sarnoff suggested investigating and possibly reducing city executives’ salaries. And as next year's budget is crafted, city officials are hoping labor unions, like police and firefighters, follow the city attorney's lead.
“My hope is that it will create a model for how things are done in the future,” Suarez said.
Commissioners are expected to address the salary issue at Thursday’s meeting.
According to city statistics from 2009, Bru is the city’s top paid employee. The fire chief, Maurice Kemp is second with a salary over $353,000.
Seven assistant fire chiefs earn about $340,000.
Former City Manager Pete Hernandez ranks tenth on the list with a compensation package worth roughly $329,000.