New City Compensation Figures Published on State Controller’s Updated Website

Last month State Controller John Chiang launched a completely redesigned website on public compensation.  Chiang commented that the renamed site – – would allow California to “strike a blow against abusive compensation practices that thrive on poor transparency.”

As 2012 draws to a close, the Controller has now updated the website with salary, pension benefits and other compensation amounts for city and county employees in 2011. Overall, compensation for the state’s cities and counties totaled $37.6 billion. Here were the averages for California’s cities:

  • 622: average number of employees per city
  • 104:1 average ratio of residents per city employee
  • $61,259 average wages for all city employees

Here’s what the site allows a user to see: (1) a detailed breakdown of actual wages paid, including regular pay, overtime, lump sum cash outs of vacation and sick leave, bonuses, and other pay subject to Medicare taxes; and (2) the employer's share of pension costs.

In addition, the following information is provided for each job position:

  • Minimum and maximum salary ranges;
  • Actual wages paid, which includes not only regular pay, but also overtime, payouts for vacation and sick leave, bonuses, and other pay subject to Medicare taxes;
  • The applicable retirement formula;
  • Both the employer's share of pension costs, as well as any contributions by the employer covering the employee's share of pension costs;
  • Any contributions by the employer to the employee's deferred compensation plan; and
  • Any employer payments for the employee's health, vision and dental premium benefits.

The Controller’s report states that 17 cities and 3 counties did not file on time, or filed incomplete records, but in the past local governments have pointed out that there were errors when they were incorrectly included on the list. If agencies have indeed failed to comply, they could face a $5,000 penalty. You can see the list of cities reportedly non-compliant here.

You can find the city data here.

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