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St. Paul fire supervisors rack up overtime, boost pensions

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A group of eight supervisors in the St. Paul Fire Department logged lots of overtime last year -- enough to make them the city's eight highest-paid employees. The Pioneer Press studied the issue and found the overtime not only boosts the pay of those supervisors in the near term, it increases the pensions they'll receive in retirement.

A former leader of the union that represents rank-and-file firefighters tells the paper the supervisors "write their own ticket" by scheduling their own overtime hours. The president of the supervisors union says the abundance of overtime is the result of an understaffed department. Some critics, though, say the extra hours could be spread out among more employees.

The Pioneer Press' investigation also includes an explanatory look at how the pensions of the city's public employees are structured and graphs that illustrate the Fire Department's rise in overtime, which dates to the late '90s.

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