San Jose payroll tops $1 billion, as city manager collects $610,000 in pay and benefits

Total employee compensation for San Jose city workers hit a record-high $1 billion last year, according to newly released 2017 pay data from TransparentCalifornia.com.

More so than nearly any other California city, rising pension costs continue to account for an outsized percentage of San Jose’s employee compensation.

While the average, full-year San Jose employee received $116,008 in wages last year, that number rises to $198,060 when the cost of employer-paid health and retirement benefits are included.

Similarly, San Jose City Manager Norberto Duenas’s $610,752 compensation package reflects $372,261 in wages, with the employer-cost of benefits accounting for the remaining $238,490.

Overtime up 150% over past 5 years

As rising pension costs forced a reduction in staffing levels, San Jose has become increasingly reliant on overtime pay. Last year, San Jose spent a record-high $71 million on overtime pay — which is a 150 percent increase from the $28.5 million spent in 2012.

San Jose Police Officer Bach Tran’s $273,498 overtime payout was the highest of any city worker, and boosted his total compensation to $548,778.

The next four largest overtime payments went to:

  1. Police Officer Jose Uribe, who received $250,000 in OT and $515,975 in total pay and benefits.
  2. Police Officer Hector Vasquez, who received $244,135 in OT and $519,415 in total pay and benefits.
  3. Police Sergeant Domingo Sanchez, who received $223,638 in OT and $548,220 in total pay and benefits.
  4. Police Officer Linh Luu, who received $215,838 in OT and $488,171 in total pay and benefits.

Transparent California Executive Director Robert Fellner believes the San Jose experience highlights the need for fundamental pension reform statewide.

“As the experience of San Jose has shown, soaring pension costs can wreak havoc on local municipalities. Despite significant staffing cuts, costs still continue to rise and the remaining public safety officers are now burdened with the excessive overtime necessary to pick up the slack. Policymakers need to fix California’s pension crisis before similar scenarios play out at other cities and counties across the state.”

To view the complete 2017 San Jose payroll report, please click here.


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.

Categories: 2018, Press Releases

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