The Pittsburgh City-County building on Forbes Avenue. (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)

Pittsburgh, Allegheny County governments are on track to reach $15 minimum wage. Some ask: Is $15 enough?

In the City of Pittsburgh, 59 municipal employees — including refuse workers, school crossing guards and administrative clerks — earn below the $15-per-hour benchmark that labor advocates have been pushing for nationally.

In Allegheny County, 169 full-time government workers still need wage increases to hit that benchmark. They include food-service workers and housekeepers at Kane Community Living Centers, among others.

Your tax dollars at work: Explore how City of Pittsburgh paid employees in 2018

The City of Pittsburgh spent more than $216 million to pay its employees in 2018. According to city spokesman Tim McNulty, the city budgeted $219.5 million for employee salaries, overtime and bonuses and spent $3.4 million less than expected. Overall, salary data analyzed by PublicSource showed the city actually spent $235.9 million on salaries, overtime and bonuses for 3,982 employees in 2018. But, McNulty said, that total includes money paid to employees from grants and other funding sources aside from city tax dollars, including payments from third parties for off-duty police and medics. Over the last five years, premium pay spending for city employees has increased.

Your tax dollars at work: Explore how Allegheny County paid employees in 2018

Allegheny County's spending on overtime pay has steadily increased over the past five years. In 2014, the county paid out roughly $20.7 million in overtime. Fast forward to 2018, the most recent data available, and the county's expense on overtime pay has jumped to about $30.1 million. The overtime pay for 2018 went to 3,570 employees, which accounts for just more than half of the county workforce. However, employees of the Kane Regional Centers and the Allegheny County Jail made the majority of the overtime pay, earning $16.7 million total.

Find out how much Pennsylvania paid state employees in 2017. Take our quiz.

At times, government may seem like a black hole with little transparency on how your tax dollars are being spent. That’s why shedding light on how the state of Pennsylvania spends your money is a top priority of ours. As we have been since 2014, PublicSource requested and is publishing data on the salaries that state government employees earned in 2017. All told, those figures account for several billion dollars of taxpayer money. Our data includes the agency an employee works for, when they were hired, their annual salary and the overtime they earned.

Find out how much Allegheny County paid its staff in 2017. Take our quiz.

While you may be spending a third of your budget on housing or paying off debt, Allegheny County spends about a third of its budget on employee salaries. In 2017, 35 percent of the county’s operating budget went to paychecks. That line item, however, did not include health insurance or other benefits workers receive. PublicSource publishes data on the employee salaries from Allegheny County, the City of Pittsburgh and the state of Pennsylvania each year because we think residents should see how their tax dollars are spent. We've been reporting on salaries since 2014.