BART Janitor Earned $271,000 Last Year
Janitor Liang Zhao Zhang cleans transit stations in downtown San Francisco, but he really cleans up with his six-figure salary. Last year, the Bay Area Rapid Transit employee earned just over $271,000.
As California Policy Center reported in October, there’s reason to believe the bond’s proceeds may be used to increase employee compensation. BART unions won wage increases of 15.4% over four years in 2013 – the same year Zhang’s extraordinarily unusual salary first appeared on the public radar. The most recent union contract locks in another four-year increase in worker wages – 10.8% – beginning mid-2017.
Zhang’s fabulous salary is symbolic of broader problems at BART. The transportation agency’s $3.1 billion unfunded liabilities suggest the system is derailing.
Catrin Thorman is a California Policy Center fall Journalism Fellow. She is a graduate of Azusa Pacific University and a former Teach for America corps member.