Public employee salary requests go out

The Bay Area News Group will expand its public employee salary database this year to include more cities, schools and local agencies and it will add the costs of health insurance benefits, pensions and deferred compensation.

One of the chief criticisms of the database has been that it fails to provide apples-to-apples comparisons between jobs and agencies given the disparity of pension and other types of compensation.

That’s a fair observation. But we had to start somewhere. Give us time. We’re working on it. As always, the database is online and searchable.

My colleagues Thomas Peele and Daniel Willis are sending out Public Records Act requests for the 2010 salary and compensation data this month to 1,633 entities in the Bay Area and the state. Click here to monitor the status of the requests.

As you might imagine, some agencies are more responsive than others.

The status web site will include an email address for each agency, so feel free to nudge any entity that fails to, shall we say, cooperate in a timely manner. It’s your money and you have the right to know where it goes.


Controller mandates public salary release

In the wake of the Bell salary scandal, California Controller John Chiang ordered cities and counties to open their books and report salaries paid to their employees and elected officials. His office will post the results online starting in November.

Gee, if we had only known it was so easy.

Our news organization had to fight public agencies in court — and won — to obtain the release of this data. No need to wait for November, though. View the results for yourself at http://www.contracostatimes.com/public-employee-salaries.

Click here to read the Los Angeles Times’ pieces on Bell.

Click here to read PublicCEO Web site’s interviews with the League of Cities and California Association of Counties on the subject.

Read on for Chiang’s news release.

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