San Francisco public pay up nearly $900 million since 2012

Today, Transparent California — the state’s largest public pay database — released 2017 employee compensation data for 175 California cities and counties.

In 2017, San Francisco spent $4.56 billion on employee compensation — a nearly $900 million increase from 2012.

The average full-year employee earned $110,823, which increased to $144,951 when benefits are included.

San Francisco’s highest compensated official was William Coaker Jr., who received $666,180 in total pay and benefits as chief investment officer of the San Francisco City & County Employees’ Retirement System (SFERS).

After Coaker, the next 3 highest compensated San Francisco workers were:

  1. SFERS Managing Director David Francl: $565,892.
  2. SFERS Managing Director Arthur Wang: $551,116.
  3. Sheriff’s Lieutenant Ronald Terry: $546,240 — $273,077 of which came from overtime pay.

When measured on a per capita basis, San Francisco spent an all-time high of $5,155 per resident on employee compensation in 2017. While Transparent California is still working on collecting the 2017 data from all California cities and counties, the average California city spent $588 per resident on employee compensation in 2016.

For years, San Francisco has spent significantly more on employee compensation than any other California city or county and is expected to do so once again this year.

To view the complete dataset in a searchable and downloadable format, please click here.

$300,445 average compensation for Mountain View fire officers

In Mountain View, the average fire officer earned $300,445 in pay and benefits last year, according to the data.

The top earner was Mountain View Fire Engineer Michael Wester, who logged over 6,000 hours of work which boosted his total pay to $449,627 — $287,368 of which came from overtime. When benefits are included, Wester’s total compensation was $530,517.

Because firefighters work 24-hour shifts, the standard number of hours worked in a year is set at 2,912, according to their contract.

A review of Wester’s time cards, however, indicate that he only logged 2,668 hours of regular pay, with over 3,000 hours coming from overtime.

“Because vacation days are treated as hours worked for the purposes of calculating overtime pay, firefighters can collect overtime despite working less than the minimum number of regular hours called for.”

Transparent California will be continually updating the site with new, 2017 data from the remaining cities and counties in the coming weeks. Be sure to follow our blog and Twitter accounts, or sign up for our mailing list, in order to receive the latest updates.

For more information, please contact Robert Fellner at 559-462-0122 or Robert@TransparentCalifornia.com.

Transparent California is California’s largest and most comprehensive database of public sector compensation and is a project of the Nevada Policy Research Institute, a nonpartisan, free-market think tank. The website is used by millions of Californians each year, including elected officials and lawmakers, government employees and their unions, government agencies themselves, university researchers, the media, and concerned citizens alike. Learn more at TransparentCalifornia.com.