Number of State Workers Making Over $100,000 More Than Doubled since 2007

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More excellent and infuriating journalism by Kathy Gregg in today’s Providence Journal. Note that this is base salary only and does not include overtime pay (or benefits, of course).

So why do so many state workers make over $100,000?

There is no one reason the state’s online database now lists 1,378 state workers with salaries that top $100,000 beyond the obvious: year-after-year raises that over time have helped nudge the state payroll from $856.7 million in 2010 to a projected $1.01 billion this year; the push by every new governor to attract — and keep — the best and the brightest; sporadic efforts to “modernize” the salaries of select employees within Rhode Island’s “archaic” personnel system.

Really? These high and rising salaries are necessary to attract the best and brightest? Let’s try an experiment. Post every job on the state payroll with the salary reduced by 25%. See if you lack for genuinely best and brightest applicants. (Hint: better put some serious crowd control in place.)



  • Rhett Hardwick

    They may have a point we don’t want to accept about attracting employees. 10% of Mass state employees make over 100K.

    “The number of Massachusetts state employees who earned at least $100,000 rose by nearly 25 percent last year, according to newly released payroll figures.
    Overall, 13,167 employees made $100,000 or more during 2015, up from 10,562 during 2014, the data show.
    People making $100,000 or more accounted for about 10 percent of all those on the state payroll in 2015, up from 8 percent in 2014.”
    https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/02/02/number-mass-employees-who-earned-least-rose-nearly-percent/8PANRkr1qDj5iUqK4V1arL/story.html

    These leads me to something I have always wondered about, why do local fire chiefs wear more gold braid than a Fleet Admiral? Could it be a salary indicator?

    • Rhett Hardwick

      I decided to Google it. A fleet Admiral makes about $60K more than a small city Fire Chief. There seems to me that there is a much larger disparity in responsibility.

    • Mike678

      “They may have a point we don’t want to accept about attracting employees.”

      What point is that? I hear that line from our local school administration every year before the request for 3% annual pay raises. “We need to increase salaries to keep our best.” Yet every time a job opening occurs we have hundreds of qualified applicants apply. Moreover, Private and charter school teachers do the same job for less–more often with better results. It’s garbage fed to a population that has forgotten how to think.

      The market should drive salaries–not pandering politicians.

      • Rhett Hardwick

        Not trying to justify it. Since all Mass state salaries are on-line, I am sure they look across the border and see “what the market will bear”. I just looked up a woman I know. 15 years ago she made $45K in a supervisory, but not managerial (she would lose union protection), job. Now, she makes 73K in the same job. Benefits are staggering. Basically, you cannot be fired. That is a higher salary than a Lt. Commander in the Navy.

  • Wil

    so when is Rhode Island boycotting taxes?

  • D. S. Crockett

    Get with it, folks. We are being ripped off by those who know how to manipulate the system. Public employee unions need to be banned or we are damned to servitude.

  • Brian Loftes

    RI mite want to attract more employees but the people who create wealth like myself are leaving. I have been a commercial fisherman all my life I’ve owned eight boats over thirty years and generated millions of dollars to the states economy and I only make one hundred thousand a year. This state treats its fishermen like crap and RI DEM makes it very hard to stay profitable this is what happens when up you have people who don’t have to produce to eat in charge of people who do! When you consider that I pay my own retirement and healthcare work in horrible condition and very long hours and have seven hundred thousand dollars invested just to have this state give it to people who don’t produce wealth its no wonder people and business are leaving. This is the problem with socialism America was founded on equal opportunity not equal outcome.

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