SF Train Station Janitor Paid $58K Actually Made $270K

Liang Zhao Zhang picked up a lot of overtime
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2016 10:44 AM CDT
Updated Nov 6, 2016 6:33 AM CST
SF Train Station Janitor Paid $58K Actually Made $270K
Commuters board a BART in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(Newser) – Looking to make the big bucks? Try being a janitor and apparently not having a life. A San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit janitor raked in about $271,000 in pay and benefits last year—almost five times his base salary of $57,945, reports NBC Bay Area—after making $162,000 in overtime pay, according to a report out Tuesday from Transparent California. It wasn't just a fluke year: Liang Zhao Zhang, who cleans BART stations in the downtown core, has averaged $227,000 in pay over the last three years, reports the San Jose Mercury News. By SF Gate's accounting, he worked 2,485 hours of overtime in 2015, which is an average of 6.8 hours every single day. Except he didn't work every day, notes the Mercury News: He used five weeks of vacation time.

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"There are so many examples like this," says Sen. Steve Glazer, who opposes a ballot measure that would authorize BART to raise $3.5 billion for a refurbishment by selling bonds. "We can't reward bad behavior." But a BART rep says overtime is necessary, including during special events. "Station cleanliness is a priority for us" and "hiring more employees would cost more than paying overtime," she says, adding Zhang is simply taking advantage of the hours available. "If he doesn't take them, someone else will." Twitter users are mostly applauding him. "Given how gross BART is, if dude is cleaning it almost every day a year, he deserves the money," reads one tweet. (Read more Bay Area Rapid Transit stories.)

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