Sacramento Metro Fire Captain paid $1.1 million over the past four years

Today, Transparent California released 2015 public employee compensation data — complete with names, pay, and benefits — for over 100,000 special district workers statewide.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District (Metro Fire) captain Randall Wootton earned $1.1 million over the past four years — thanks to consistently receiving more overtime (OT) pay than any other Metro Fire employee.

2015 was Wootton’s fourth year in a row as Metro Fire’s highest OT-earner, having collected at least $108,000 in OT every year since 2012:

Year

Base Pay

Overtime Pay

Other Pay

Total Pay

2012

$98,028

$108,333

$34,766

$241,127

2013

$98,028

$113,997

$38,703

$250,728

2014

$98,832

$180,018

$37,194

$316,045

2015

$98,832

$129,966

$77,999

$306,797

With benefits included, Wootton received $379,606 in total compensation last year, making him the 4th highest compensated Metro Fire employee.

The three highest compensated Metro Fire employees were:

  1. Battalion chief Charles Jenkins Jr: $412,422
  2. Fire captain Stephen Craig: $381,638
  3. Battalion chief Randall Hein: $379,606

Transparent California research director Robert Fellner noted that overall OT spending declined 2 percent from the previous year, despite the astronomical payouts made to a select few employees.

“It was refreshing to see the chief acknowledge the problem of excessive overtime after last year’s report was released, but this new data makes clear that there is still much work to be done.”

Pay up 10% at SMUD

Sacramento’s largest special district — the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) — spent over $273 million on employee compensation last year, 10 percent more than what was spent in 2014.

The three highest compensated SMUD workers were:

  1. Chief executive officer and general manager Arlen Orchard: $491,380
  2. Chief power supply and grid operations officer Paul Lau: $383,138
  3. Chief financial officer Jamey Tracy: $383,078

Compensation is defined as total wages plus the employer cost of retirement and health benefits. Full-time, year-round employees are defined as those receiving a salary equal or greater to 90 percent of the “annual salary minimum” reported.

To explore the data further, please visit TransparentCalifornia.com

To schedule an interview with Transparent California, 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. Learn more at TransparentCalifornia.com.

CalPERS $100k club for Highway Patrol up 15% as taxpayer cost hits an all-time high

The number of annualized pension payouts of $100,000 or more received by former California Highway Patrol (CHP) employees increased more than 15 percent last year, according to just-released 2015 pension data posted on TransparentCalifornia.com.

The over 625,000 records — obtained via a public records request to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) ­— reveals that the average full-career CHP retiree collected an $88,773 pension.

Former assistant commissioner Ramona Murray De Prieto’s $201,727 annualized payout was the highest of any CHP retiree and marks the first time a CHP retiree collected an annual benefit worth over $200,000.

Meanwhile, the retirement costs for active CHP employees just hit an all-time high 50 percent of payroll.

Transparent California’s research director Robert Fellner believes soaring taxpayer-costs illustrate the importance of providing complete and accurate data.

“Defined benefit plans like CalPERS are inherently opaque, which limits the public’s ability to accurately assess its generosity and cost. Transparent California provides complete information so that taxpayers can have a better sense of how their money is being spent.”

Costs soar at the city of Chico

The City of Chico’s new 39% contribution rate for non-safety employees was the second highest statewide and represented a 25% year over year increase, also the second highest statewide. A list of all pension payouts to former Chico employees can be found here.

Fellner noted that Chico’s outsized costs for non-safety employees was likely due to the use of a rare, but extremely generous benefit formula known as “3% @ 60.”

Sacramento Valley

Top 3 payouts to Sacramento Valley retirees went to:

  1. Donald Gerth, former President of CSU at Sacramento: $317,324
  2. John Distasio, former CEO of Sacramento Municipal Utility District: $284,673
  3. Robert McDonell, former Woodland employee: $252,837

There was a more than 13 percent increase in the number of Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District retirees who received an annualized benefit of at least $100,000. The District currently sends 42 cents per dollar of pay to CalPERS, a more than 10 percent increase over last year’s rate.

To view the entire dataset in a searchable and downloadable format, visit TransparentCalifornia.com.

A full-career is defined as at least 30 years of service.

To schedule an interview with Transparent California, 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. Learn more at TransparentCalifornia.com.

Sacramento Metro Fire captain triples $99,000 salary to $316,000 with OT, other pay

Today, Transparent California released 2014 public employee compensation data — complete with names, pay, and benefits — for 35 of the largest special districts in the Sacramento Valley, representing nearly 90 percent of all Sacramento Valley special district workers.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District (Metro Fire) captain Randall Wootton boosted his earnings more than any other Sacramento Valley special district worker surveyed — thanks to an area-high $180,018 overtime (OT) payout plus $37,194 in other pay that more than tripled his $98,832 salary to $316,045.

2014 was Wootton’s third year in a row as Metro Fire’s highest OT-earner, where he collected at least $108,000 in OT every year since 2012:

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Such a high concentration of overtime for a single employee was alarming to Transparent California’s research director Robert Fellner.

“The public should be concerned that working so many overtime hours for years on end is a recipe for disaster, particularly given the life-or-death situations firefighters routinely encounter.”

The three highest-compensated Sacramento Valley special district workers were:

  1. Northern California Power Agency general manager James Pope: $642,372
  2. Alpha Fund Joint Powers Agency CEO David McGhee: $452,840
  3. Sacramento Municipal Utility District CEO and GM Arlen Orchard: $451,463

The three Sacramento Valley special districts with the highest average compensation packages for full-time, year-round employees were:

  1. Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District (Metro Fire): $193,614
  2. Northern California Power Agency: $192,272
  3. Yuba County Water Agency: $160,993

The average full-time, year-round Sacramento Valley special district worker received $125,646 in total compensation.

Click here to view this information for all 35 Sacramento Valley special districts surveyed.

OT/Other Pay Boosts Earnings

In 2014, the average full-time, year-round Metro Fire employee increased their regular salary by 72 percent with OT and other pay, while 122 employees more than doubled their salary with the additional forms of pay.

Additionally, Metro Fire spent nearly $50,000 per full-time employee just on benefits, an amount that will dramatically increase over the next several years, according to Fellner.

“Largely shrouded from public view, the cost for government workers’ benefits has ballooned to unsustainable heights, crippling local agencies and burdening taxpayers.

Metro Fire, for example, is projected to spend a staggering 50 percent of payroll on retirement costs alone by 2020, an amount 16 times greater than what the median private employer pays.”

To view the entire dataset in a searchable and downloadable format, visit TransparentCalifornia.com

Compensation is defined as total wages plus the employer cost of retirement and health benefits. Full-time, year-round employees are defined as those receiving a salary equal or greater than the “annual salary minimum” reported.

To schedule an interview with Transparent California, 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. Learn more at TransparentCalifornia.com.

Median Earnings for Residents and City Staff of Sacramento Valley Cities, 2014

City Name Median Earnings for Residents Median Earnings for City Staff City Earnings as % of Residents Earnings
Rancho Cordova $44,634 $96,207 216%
Winters $44,318 $91,174 206%
Yuba City $41,157 $82,990 202%
Citrus Heights $43,526 $85,418 196%
Chico $43,292 $83,328 192%
West Sacramento $49,343 $94,081 191%
Woodland $43,177 $81,525 189%
Williams $33,018 $61,412 186%
Elk Grove $56,765 $99,543 175%
Auburn $46,098 $80,657 175%
Sacramento $45,115 $77,665 172%
Redding $41,769 $71,723 172%
Paradise $41,016 $69,111 168%
Anderson $37,514 $62,671 167%
Oroville $34,083 $56,877 167%
Willows $37,452 $62,264 166%
Colusa $34,324 $54,782 160%
Sutter Creek $47,857 $74,112 155%
Orland $32,864 $48,453 147%
Galt $44,162 $63,975 145%
Lincoln $54,558 $76,968 141%
Wheatland $43,906 $61,219 139%
Davis $65,194 $90,639 139%
Roseville $61,313 $83,890 137%
Plymouth $39,286 $53,719 137%
Rocklin $64,991 $88,179 136%
Biggs $33,750 $43,633 129%
Loomis $50,212 $60,699 121%
Folsom $80,157 $88,922 111%
Colfax $48,802 $45,646 94%

For more, visit www.TransparentCalifornia.com.

Over 300 retired educators of Sacramento and the Central Valley receive eye-popping pension payouts of $100,000 or more

Over 300 retired educators of Sacramento & the Central Valley receive eye-popping pension payouts of $100,000 or more

Bad Education: Transparent California Releases 2014 CalSTRS Pension Data

TUSTIN — Today, TransparentCalifornia.com released 2014 pension records for 256,305 CalSTRS pensioners, received through a series of public records request.

The data reveals that at just the 10 biggest school districts in Sacramento & the Central Valley 308 CalSTRS pensioners took home pension payouts of $100,000 or more in 2014. The average pension for those who worked 30 years or more at these districts was $63,682 for the year. Of those who retired in 2000 and later, the figure was $70,084. (These payouts do not include the value of generous health benefits.)

Transparent California is California’s largest and most comprehensive database of public sector compensation and is run by the California Policy Center and Nevada Policy Research Institute.

Statewide, 8,888 CalSTRS retirees received pension payouts of $100,000 or more in 2014. The average pension for those who worked 30 years or more was $66,641 for the year. Of those who retired in 2000 and later, the figure was $74,910.

To view the data click here. To explore the data by specific school district click here.

“Widespread six-figure pension payouts for retired educators challenge the popular conception of the poor retired teacher struggling to get by on a fixed pension,” said Mark Bucher, president of the California Policy Center. “The release of this data will give policymakers, journalists and Californians-at-large better context of hot-button issues surrounding teacher contracts and compensation.”

The three biggest CalSTRS pension recipients in Sacramento & the Central Valley in 2014 were:

  • Jack McLaughlin, Stockton Unified School District, who received $266,899
  • James Enochs, Modesto City Elementary, who received $261,510
  • Larry Reider, Kern County Office of Education, who received $253,950

The top three biggest CalSTRS pension recipients statewide in 2014 were:

  • William Habermehl, Orange County Office of Education, who received $347,856
  • Richard Bray, Tustin Unified School District, who received $307,135
  • Edward Hernandez Jr., Rancho Santiago Community College District, who received $304,652

Based on the ten biggest school districts in each region, the average pensions of those who worked 30 years or more by other California region were:

  • Bay Area: $65,413
  • Central Coast: $60,532
  • Greater Los Angeles: $69,002
  • Greater San Diego: $65,605

Ten biggest school districts by total payroll in Sacramento & the Central Valley

Name County Avg. Full-Career Pension
Sacramento & Central Valley =  Butte, Colusa, Glenn, El Dorado, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, San Joaquin, Sacramento, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yuba, and Yolo
Fresno Unified Fresno $60,467
Elk Grove Unified Sacramento $66,837
San Juan Unified Sacramento $63,385
Sacramento City Unified Sacramento $63,551
Clovis Unified Fresno $63,179
Kern Union High Kern $70,821
Stockton Unified San Joaquin $63,404
Bakersfield City Elementary Kern $64,679
Lodi Unified San Joaquin $63,999
Folsom-Cordova Unified Sacramento $64,729

Transparent California is a project of two nonpartisan, free-market think tanks, the California Policy Center and Nevada Policy Research Institute. Learn more at TransparentCalifornia.com.