San Francisco janitor makes $276K with overtime pay

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016
BART janitor makes $276K with overtime pay
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Tens of thousands of people ride BART. They come through the stations and leave many things behind.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Cleaning train stations in San Francisco means big bucks for one janitor. He raked in nearly $200,000 in overtime last year.

The janitor puts in 114 hours a week, according to a researcher who discovered the janitor's pay. The researcher who discovered all of this says the janitor isn't to blame, Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, is.

The average BART janitor makes $50,000 a year. But Lang Jow Jong raked in $162,000 in overtime, making his total compensation for last year more than $276,000.

Researchers at the nonprofit Transparent California, say BART's compensation packages are outrageous and irresponsible.

"There is just no reason to be paying their employees so much more money than what the average person gets," said Robert Fellner of Transparent California.

The average janitor in California makes $28,000 a year. BART's spokesperson insists, it's cheaper to dole out overtime than to hire more employees. This way, he says, it's being conservative. But a BART board member disagrees.

"What's wrong is that again, there is that many hours available for over time. That is indicative of a staffing shortage," said BART board director Zakhary Mallet.

Riders had mixed reactions to Jong's income.

"People need jobs. If you're paying one guy $200,000 you can for sure hire more people," said BART rider Emara Shabir.

"I think it's a good opportunity for that person," said Zachary Brudno, a BART rider.

Jong declined an interview saying he's too busy working.