During the first year of the Walsh Administration, the number of Boston city-funded employees increased by 134 to 17,116. Of that increase, the School Department accounted for an increase of 125 employees and all other city departments, in aggregate, added nine employees. The increase in School Department personnel was a result of factors such as the growing number of special education students and policy decisions including the improved teacher assignment initiative. This is the third consecutive year of increases in city-funded employees totaling 943 following three years of workforce reductions which totaled 1,105 employees due to the economic downturn. Full Report>
Boston Municipal Research Bureau
Boston’s retirement system is 70.7% funded with an outstanding unfunded liability of $1.5 billion. The City will increase its pension appropriation by 9.25% annually and the unfunded liability will be fully paid down by June 30, 2025. The 70.7% funded ratio is below the 80% funded ratio threshold used by experts to identify healthy pension systems. Overall, Boston’s pension system is comparatively healthy and the City and Retirement Board have taken prudent steps to strengthen the integrity of its financial position. Sustaining this position will require the City to maintain strict discipline in funding the aggressive appropriation schedule and the Board to maximize investment performance, while refraining from investing in more risky asset classes, and control any liability increases. Full Report>
The number of Boston city-funded employees increased by 809 or 5.0% over the past two years (January 2012 to January 2014). Over the last year from January 2013 to January 2014, city-funded positions increased by 450 or 2.7% to 16,982. Payroll reductions in 2009, 2010 and 2011 due to the economic downturn resulted in a net five-year employee decrease of 296 or 1.7%. Additionally, in the first five months of the Walsh Administration, employee levels decreased by 118, due mainly to the restructuring of services in the Boston Public Schools and the timing of public safety classes and retirements. Full Report>
As Boston enters a new period with the first new Mayor in twenty years, we have prepared a unique and comprehensive examination of Boston’s financial management, its development process and its organizational structure at the end of the Menino Administration.