True to one of our guiding principles that government should be limited and as transparent as possible, we are providing the most recent annual payroll for the Municipality of Anchorage. We believe it is important for taxpayers to know how much their employees are being compensated. It is up to you to make the value judgment regarding fair and equitable compensation. Those government employees who provide excellent services should be recognized on a regular basis. Just as you would shop for value in a supermarket or auto dealership, you should also be very concerned about the value you receive for government services.
During most discussions on government worker compensation, the focus is usually on salaries/wages. However, as evident in the FY2017 Anchorage municipal payroll, the focus must be on the total compensation package to include benefits (which are about one-third of the cost of an employee).
Here are some interesting data points in the 2017 Anchorage payroll:
2,940 full time employees; 390 part-time/seasonal/temporary employees
$128,162 is the average salary and benefits cost for full-time employees
Highest cost full-time employee is a firefighter who came in at $701,476 (this apparently involved some back wages); second highest cost employee was a senior patrol officer at $450,304
Highest cost temporary/part-time/seasonal employee is an IBEW journeyman lineman at $185,187
One full-time employee cost the taxpayer $97,739 in overtime alone
One part-time/temporary/seasonal employee cost the taxpayer $39,487 in overtime pay
Remember, overtime pay goes toward calculating an employee’s retirement pay. So, the lifetime cost of employees with high overtime is multiplied several times over.
The mayor is moving up in the municipal payroll. He now costs the taxpayer $185,570. In FY2014 there were 453 employees who cost more than the mayor. In FY2017, there were only 412 who cost more than the mayor.
A full 72% of full-time city government employees cost the taxpayer more than $100,000 per year. Here is the breakdown by a sample of departments.
Below is a snapshot of some of the highest cost employees by bargaining unit or non-represented unit:
Please note that these costs are not what the employee sees in his/her paycheck (just like employees in the private sector, there are many deductions first!) Instead, these amounts accurately show the total cost of that employee to the employer—you. Also, employee costs for Anchorage Waste & Water Utility, Solid Waste Services and Municipal Light & Power are not directly paid by the municipal taxpayers but are included in customers’ electricity, water/sewer and refuse bills.
This data is presented exactly as provided by the Municipality of Anchorage. We do not validate the accuracy of the data. We do thank them for their cooperation in helping us provide transparency in government.
KTUU 10 o’clock news: https://www.ktuu.com/content/news/Cost-of-Municipal-Employees–478254393.html
Craig Medred news: https://craigmedred.news/2018/03/29/money-flows/