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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bay Area Public Employee Salaries 2010

At Thursday’s Manteca Patriots (Tea Party) there was a fine fellow running for office who pledge that he would only accept a salaryguy's card  of $42,500 per year.  Because, he put it, you shouldn’t be “getting rich off the taxpayer who’s making less than you.”

Fantastic concept.  I noted at the meeting that “everybody in the city makes more than that, they all make like 100,000/yr.” 

Well this comment drew some reaction.  I don’t know if it’s how I said it or if I was over broad in my generalization but it got some hostile rebuttal (I was interrupted) from someone who thought that was a bunch of crap, basically.  That these city workers were … and I’m not quite sure what his argument was.  But that “they aren’t all making over $100,000 /yr!

Fair enough.

As I tried to explain at the meeting I was speaking in general terms and not every single worker makes that much.  Some make more, some make less.  But that as an average it’s right around (in the neighborhood) of 100K or so. 

Now, here’s the basis for that comment.  First, City Manager Pinkerton said this very thing at a meeting of the “tax committee” I forget the name of it but was the citizen’s group that met to try to explore any new taxes.  (Which were soundly turned down).  He said as a general rule, he counts about $100K per employee.  Including the guys who mow the grass who get like $80K and so on.

In addition, in the “COPS” grant application, Chief Bricker had listed the starting compensation for a brand new policeman as $114,000 per year.   To start.  Councilman Moorhead even asked for clarification.  (“Is that what it really cost to hire one policeman?”) The answer from the chief was yes, that’s what it costs.  About the same with the fire department.  And the pay goes up from there.  $114,000 per year is the absolute minimum.

I also asserted that the gentleman may simply not know how much they make.  And I related how when the Sun Post ran a list of all city worker pay, they got many complaints and downright accusations of “I don’t make that much.”  I asserted “they don’t even know what they make, they argue but the figures in the Sun Post were accurate.”  This was also disputed.

Now, read for yourself.  Here is all 560 city workers’ pay.  Look for yourself.  I’ll wait.

Now, if you notice, the “median” just directly from that list is $77,300 per year.   Now if you want to go further, notice the last 140 workers are part time, one time, special workers who get a few thousand dollars.  Lets just look at full time workers.  Fair?  Maybe, maybe not but lets just say the small payments less than $10,000 don’t count.  Now the median pay is $90,380 per year.

OK, so mea culpa, they aren’t making 100K a year, it’s only $90K.  I’m sorry to have even suggested they are making a good living.  Wait, the argument was if they were making more than the average Californian, $42,500. 

Lastly, remember I said “they don’t even know how much they make?”  Well, look at the San Jose Mercury News page.  Look at the first comment from a government worker there.  Accusing the paper of getting it all wrong, and insisting “I don’t make that much money.”  Which is exactly what I said at the meeting, that the workers themselves don’t even know how much they are getting.

And there’s nothing like that in the private (non government) world, but that’s a subject for another day.

You may use the space below in the comments to apologize for doubting my figures.

Bay Area Public Employee Salaries 2010 - San Jose Mercury News

2 comments:

  1. I am so happy to have found your blog again! I have missed it!

    ReplyDelete

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