Monday, September 17, 2007

SJ Mercury releases VTA salary information

After a recent state supreme court ruling, SJ Mercury was able to obtain salary information of VTA employees along with their names and released it to the public on its web site.

The highest paid employee was General Manager Michael Burns earning just over $290k during last fiscal year. Almost all executives and top managers earn between $100k and $200k.

One of the most interesting details revealed is that there were 22 bus drivers earning over $100k during the last fiscal year. Even the highest paid light rail operator earned less than $90k. Also, four transit mechanics earned more than $100k.

Under the current contract with the ATU, the top hourly wage for a regular bus operator is $27.61, which translates to a yearly income of $57,428, assuming a 40 hour work week for the entire year. These drivers were collecting a very generous overtime pay.

In comparison, in the City of San Jose, a majority of employees earning over $100k are police officers and fire fighters, which is primarily due to employee overtime. Aides to council members advising on VTA and other issues earn between $50k and $80k.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

thanks for this...

seems to be a lot of overpaid middle management and analysts.

Anonymous said...

i am a bus driver and i would like to say a word about the drivers that made over100k. these drivers do not have lives....try to make 100k a year at 27.67 and hour , just try it. also many of the 22 drivers who make 80 k pluss a year and more have duties that kept them off the road...fun stuff for the rest of us. drive safe,
greg

VTA insider said...

You ought to see how much we pay our contractors! Obscene numbers that put them at the same pay rate as the GM. There's this one woman with the initials T.O. that retired from VTA a couple years ago and now is rehired as a consultant. And get this, we pay her $1800 a day! This is on top of the very generous pension (80%) and healthcare she's getting from PERS.

Ridiculous!!

Anonymous said...

vta insider, would that person's name be Theresa Ortega?

Anonymous said...

*** There's this one woman with the initials T.O. that retired from VTA a couple years ago and now is rehired as a consultant. And get this, we pay her $1800 a day! ***

Get your fact's straight about T.O. For the record, she does not make that much per day and her contract was for a limited time frame with a maximum number of hours per week. $1800 per day is over inflated!

If VTA had more competent internal employee's, maybe they would not have to hire consultants.

Anonymous said...

It's very interesting to learn about bus drivers' salary with so many different ranges. It's hard to believe that some made over 100k. I bet that VTA still has "Broad Range". Maybe that's why it could climb that high and still, it can be higher. Why does VTA still use this "Broad Range" while all other public sectors (City of San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale,County of Santa Clara,..)have "Step" system which sets a max after reaching the highest step????

Anonymous said...

Could you explain the use of "Broad Range" and "Step System?"

VTA drivers are paid by the hour, with overtime paid at time and-a-half, which is pretty normal. They reach top pay scale in a very short period of time. Drivers can work (voluntary) overtime on their days off, and under some circumstances, after they complete their assigned run. Some drivers choose to make themselves available for a lot of overtime, and some do not. And there is plenty of overtime available, due to various reasons including sick, vacation, and so on. It is entirely possible that a brand new driver at the lowest/first step in the pay scale, could earn more money in the first year of employment than a driver who has been there 20 years, by working overtime, if the 20 year veteran goes home at the end of his shift and doesn't work any days off.

So, how can this be "maxed out?"

Anonymous said...

Let me add something else, here: Some overtime is expected when budgeting for operations payrolls. It is cheaper to cover some of the work with overtime, than to have full time employees, with the added overhead costs (medical, dental, retirement contributions, SS, etc., etc.).

Anonymous said...

"Broad Range": pay raise is determined/set by managers/supervisors (same classification but one employee gets 2% while others might get 2.5 or 3%).
"Step": one pay raise for all employees in the same classification.
I contacted VTA and was informed that VTA used Broad Range for their non rep employees. That's why middle management and analyst still got overpaid. This "Broad Range" also creates another problem: favortism in assessing pay raise.

Anonymous said...

Let me add something else: For Broad Range at VTA, it's said that pay raise is from 3% to 5% (NOT 2%-3%) and have no top step. This helps keep their middle management and analysts still get overpaid.

RickS said...

A lot is said about the problem with VTA, I have seen the waste accompanied with the lack of service to the people that pay the fares. I have done my share of complaining to VTA but we know what that does, absolutely nothing, . We need someone to post a way we can do something about this theft of our tax money and a way to restructure this Gestapo. We the people need to do something about this injustice. Anyone Please!

Anonymous said...

So where are the latest databases for VTA employee salaries? Wasn't there a ruling that requires public agencies to post gavernment employee salaries? Per the mercury news, VTA has not responded to their requests. How do they skate out of providing this information when other public agencies have to provide them?

RickS said...

Can anyone tell me what July 1, 2006 to June 7, 2007 has to do with today.The figures revealed by the Mercury News are a little old FY2007 As of 9/6/07, depending on the date you want to go by this information is 4.33 to 4.8 years old. Is this the Mercury calls revealing VTA Employee Incomes, if so they are a part of the coverup. Where do we find what they are being paid now. Anyone have an answer 'Anonymouses' are you all afraid of putting your name here or just ashamed of who you are, or are you like so many of the organizations, businesses and the like you don't want to be held accountable for anything you say or do. The picture here is of me when I held myself accountable to serve my country.