February 7, 2013
Congratulations to Mayor Wharton and his new website revisions. Here is one example. He has posted the salaries, job titles, service centers, divisions and estimated benefits of all city employees. While this is good and needed information, it raises several questions. I have posted all city employees from highest salaries to lowest.
- On the face of it, some salaries seem high and some seem low. It should depend on the skill level needed to do the job.
- The average City of Memphis salary is $48,554 for all 6979 employees listed. There are 4451 employees above the average salary and 2528 below the average salary. The average salary for those above the total average is $55,923. The average for those below the total average is $35,599.
- Has the City done a comparable salary and benefit comparison with comparable private sector jobs?
According to the latest Memphis CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) report the per capita personal income for Memphis is $37,569., 5.5% above the bottom group average of city employees. The top average City of Memphis employee group is 48% above the Memphis per capita income level. Also consider that City of Memphis employees have benefits over and above direct salary of 40 to 45%, much greater than private sector benefits that are in the 25% range.
I seek to compare private sector versus public sector as I believe that public servants should be paid a competitive wage with comparable benefits with the private sector but not over and above the comparable private sector job where all the tax money originates.
In the upcoming budget and reform discussions at the City of Memphis, consideration should be given to salary reductions to some in the 4451 employees in the upper group of Memphis employees.