Boston Public School, Police and Fire Departments accounted for the top 10 highest earners employed by the City of Boston in 2012, each making more annually than Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.
The leaders of the list are three BPS employees, Teresa Underwood, Carol Johnson and Jonathan Bonds, who made about $427,500, $323,722 and $318,158 respectively, according to a spreadsheet by the city, released Tuesday.
Menino came in at number 180 on the list of earners, with an annual salary of $175,000, according to the spreadsheet.
“There’s nothing unusual this year compared to previous earnings reports,” said Matthew Wilder, spokesman for BPS.
Wilder said Underwood and Bonds were unique situations because both teachers received a majority of their earnings due to court rulings.
Other BPS employees who made the list retired in 2012 and were able to take advantage of the retiree benefits offered by the City of Boston, Wilder said.
“Any time that someone who has worked in the district for a very long time retires, they are going to move up on the earnings report, based on their ability to cash out their unused vacation time and their sick time,” he said.
Six BPD employees and one retired BFD employee round out the top-ten highest earners, making between $235,269 and $280,121, according to the spreadsheet.
BPD did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
The remainder of the top 180 included 141 BFD employees, 27 representing BPD, 10 from BPS and the president of the Boston Public Library.
BFD spokesman Steve MacDonald said many of the BFD employees on the list retired in 2012 and claimed similar benefits from their employers as those offered to BPS employees.
“The top couple of people [on the list employed by the BFD] are all people that retired, and when you retire there are certain buybacks that you can take advantage of,” he said.
MacDonald said retiring employees have the ability to claim pay for all of their unused vacation time, as well as 35 percent of their unused sick time. Employees who worked for 30 to 40 years can receive substantial payments upon retirement.
High-ranking members of BFD who are still employed also took home large salaries in 2012, MacDonald said.
“We do have senior managers and senior chiefs of the department — 14 of them — and they get paid what you would expect a senior manager to be paid,” MacDonald said.
He said the need to sufficiently staff all of the fire stations in Boston also requires employees to often work extra hours, which accounts for large portions of some employees’ incomes.
“To keep the engines and ladders fully staffed throughout the city, we do pay overtime,” MacDonald said. “So when you look at the members, they all include probably anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 in overtime because they work a lot of extra hours. So it’s not based on a 40 hour week.”
Meredith Weenick, chief financial officer for the City of Boston, said the data was very consistent with what was expected.
“There was nothing unusual to the city in terms of overall results of earnings in calendar year 2012,” she said. “It’s the kind of distribution that we normally see, obviously police, fire and schools make up the vast majority of our employees, and therefore, similarly, they are atop the highest earners.”