After five years of increases, overtime costs for Allegheny County dropped roughly 2% in 2019. Spending dropped from $30.1 million in 2018 to $29.5 million last year.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the county this year has estimated a decrease of about $700,000 in overtime spending from March through May 2020, compared to those months in 2019, according to Allegheny County Budget and Finance Department Director Mary Soroka.
“Overtime is routinely reviewed by management to try to control spending,” Soroka said in a statement to PublicSource. “Managing all costs is a budget goal.”
Salaries by department
The largest and most expensive county departments in 2019 were the Kane Community Living Centers and the Department of Human Services. Kane Regional Centers, the county nursing home system, employed 1,133 people at a cost of $48.5 million. The Department of Human Services, which provides child protection services, drug addiction resources and other programs, paid $46.3 million to 1,054 employees last year.
Gender & race of workforce
The ratio of Black and white workers closely resemble the county’s demographics.
White individuals accounted for 80.1% of county residents and the county government’s workforce, while Black individuals comprised 13.4% of the county population and 17.6% of county employees.
The county population is 4.1% Asian, though county employees who identify as Asian account for 1.07% of the county workforce. And the county is 2.2% Latinx, but Latinx county employees account for .62% of its workforce.
Median salaries & disparities
While the county workforce is nearly evenly split between men and women, their pay is not equal. The median full-time pay for women was $45,940 while the median full-time salary for men was $55,994.
Top 25 earners
Allegheny County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Karl E. Williams was the top-paid county employee in 2019, earning $208,065. He displaced former Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker, who departed in August 2019. Hacker’s annual salary (set at $226,225 in 2019) had made her the top-paid county employee since 2014.
Here are the 25 county employees in 2019 whose salaries – before benefits, bonuses and/or overtime – were the highest:
Employees who made more than Fitzgerald
Including overtime and bonuses, 604 Allegheny County employees in 2019 earned more money than County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who has an annual salary of $90,000.
Nicole C. Brambila is the local government reporter for PublicSource. She can be reached at 412-515-0072 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story was fact-checked by Eric Holmberg.