Curious what your neighboring City Manager, Director of Public Works or Administrative Assistant makes in base salary and benefits? Good news for the nosy: a pension reform group in Southern California has launched a searchable database of public employee compensation.
In addition to listing base pay, overtime, and benefits, the database even lists employee’s full legal names, allowing public employees to view the compensation of their coworkers easier than ever before.
The project, TransparencyCalifornia.com, was launched earlier this week. It is the brainchild of the California Public Policy Center (CPPC) and the result of over 3.3 million salary records, collected, compiled and organized into a searchable catalog.
The data is made up of information from 37 California public pension funds: including CalPERS, CalSTRS as well as individual salary data from state and local government agencies.
CPPC President Mark Bucher foresees the data as “empower[ing] anyone interested in this issue… We’re trying to put the power in the hands of the people, in the hands of candidates running for office.”
“These data give new meaning to the phrase ‘Golden State,’” Bucher continued. “Amid civic bankruptcies in cities that can no longer pay for essential services, Californians can now see exactly where their tax dollars are going and how much current and former government employees are being paid.”
Harvey Robinson, president of the 28,000-member Retired Public Employees Association of California, believes that pensioners will be “outraged” as the database is made known to the public. “We certainly are concerned about that information creating vulnerability for retirees,” he said to The Sacramento Bee.
Some of the website’s most interesting insights include:
- Almost 100 former public employees received at least a quarter-million dollars in annual pension payments in 2012.
- Over 1,700 CalPERS pension recipients received at least $150,000 from the fund.
According to The Desert Sun, the nonpartisan policy center argues the database will “anger California taxpayers and increase calls for pension reform in California.”
View the database for yourself here.