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State workers paid above market

Wage gap shows up in Iowa salary database
Nov 02, 2012

State workers paid above market


DES MOINES (AP) — State workers in Iowa generally earn better base salaries than their counterparts in the private sector and other states, a human resources consultancy says in a new report deemed “bogus” by the head of the state’s biggest public workers union.

Aon Hewitt, in its report released Tuesday, examined the base pay for 97 positions selected by the Iowa Department of Administrative Services, which represents about 71 percent of the public workforce in the state’s executive branch.

The company’s report found that on average, the minimum and maximum ranges for base pay for state employees are competitive with the market. But approximately 83 percent of positions studied have average base pay 20 percent higher than in the states compared in the study.

Base pay is the compensation a worker earns, excluding bonuses, raises or other allowances.

Administrative Services Department Director Mike Carroll said the study was commissioned primarily because state officials have never done a comprehensive examination of state employee pay and benefits.

Executive branch workers include jobs under the purview of the governor’s office, such as workers in Human Services, Corrections, Transportation and Natural Resources departments. University employees, who are under the Board of Regents, and judicial branch employees aren’t included.

The report comes as Gov. Terry Branstad’s administration prepares to negotiate a new two-year contract with state employees, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

State AFSCME President Danny Homan called the study “bogus” and lacking in credibility.

“They’re going to do a report that gets them to the conclusion that they wanted to get to so that they can put it out to the public and try to convince the public of the state of Iowa that public employees are overpaid and have benefits that are better than anybody else,” Homan told The Gazette.

The Des Moines Register said the report suggested two approaches to address reducing compensation costs. One method would be to reduce or eliminate regular pay increases, particularly for employees who are paid above market. Second, benefits programs should be redesigned to bring them more in line with the market, the consultant said.

Retiring Iowa Senate President Jack Kibbie, D-Emmetsburg, issued a statement Tuesday calling the report “politically biased” and designed to mislead Iowa taxpayers.


Wage gap shows up in Iowa salary database


DES MOINES (AP) —The median pay for women who worked for the state of Iowa last fiscal year was about 9 percentage points under that of men who were employed by the state.

A new state salary database released Thursday shows the state had nearly 60,000 employees who were paid a total of $3.02 billion in the year that ended June 30.

The state employed nearly 32,800 women last year with a median salary of nearly $45,700, compared with more than 27,100 men with a median salary of more than $50,300.

The salary database was compiled by Iowa’s Department of Administrative Services.

The highest-paid female state employee was University of Iowa women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder, who was paid $568,000. The highest-paid man was Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz, $3.7 million.


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