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Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:44 AM

Wisconsin witch hunt: Gannett publishes salaries of WI public employees in online database

http://www.bluecheddar.net/?p=27463


The witch hunt continues: Gannett Media inputs salaries of most WI public employees into online searchable databases


Gannett Media has spent 7 months formally requesting, paying for, and in some cases manually entering information into online searchable databases so that you can see what most public employees in the State of Wisconsin made in the latest available fiscal year. Excluded from the results: those who made less than $25,000 in that time period.

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This is not what these public workers signed up for when they took their jobs. In some cases there will be individuals who are hoping to not be discovered by an abusive former partner or spouse.

Who’s sponsoring this: When I called up this special project’s link, the most prominant ad I saw on the site was for Hobby Lobby – a rabidly right wing company that has proclaimed itself free from a need to comply with the Affordable Healthcare Act as passed by congress and signed by the Obama administration and approved by the Supreme Court of the United States.

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This is the same company that published the names of 25 Gannett Wisconsin Media journalists and nine Appleton Post-Crescent journalists who signed Walker’s recall papers after they ferreted out their names from a database put together by a right wing group by the state’s Government Accountability Board. See more at the March 24th story by Appleton Wonk, Should Journalists Sign Recall Petitions?

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Reply Wisconsin witch hunt: Gannett publishes salaries of WI public employees in online database (Original post)
Scuba Jan 2013 OP
Sancho Jan 2013 #1
earthside Jan 2013 #2
HelenWheels Jan 2013 #4
Lifelong Protester Jan 2013 #3
HelenWheels Jan 2013 #5
madrchsod Jan 2013 #6
lutefisk Jan 2013 #7

Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:12 AM

1. I've been a state employee in three states and our salaries were always public...

Most of the time, the only embarrassments were the high paid administrators, directors, or legislative staff. Regular teachers, fire fighters, office workers, and police have pretty standard pay scales and make less than their counterparts in local businesses.

For example, my wife has five college degrees (three were not education degrees) and has been teaching 35 years. She makes about the same as new college graduates in "business" or "engineering" or "health" professions.

Here, the right-wing groups manipulate the salaries they publish - for example, our GOP legislatures were paying a young college cheerleader about $100,000 to organize their travel and arrange entertainment (not sure if the wives were aware of the trips, but it seems like some rendezvous trips were secret!). She was NOT on the rightwing list, but the members of local unions were always on the list (usually with inflated salaries or mistakes in the publications). After some salaries were published, reporters started investigating and it turned out to be more of a problem for the righties than they bargained for...

It's just propaganda, and I think the general public doesn't pay too much attention to those reports from what we can see here. They don't appear to affect most voters.



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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:36 AM

2. Why aren't they public in the first place?

I believe that here in Colorado, all public employees' salaries are a matter of open record.

Of course, this is as it should be ... they work for the public, the taxpayers.
Why should their pay and benefits be secret?

Perhaps Wisconsin needs to change its sunshine laws to include public employees -- if this information is a matter of course, no one will really pay much attention.

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Response to earthside (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:43 AM

4. Wages are public in WI

Every public worker's salary is available. All one has to do is get on their computer to find them. I suggested these people doing this crappy study also publish what the public benefits from the public workers. They should also publish the working conditions of these workers. Many public workers have very stressful conditions.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:41 AM

3. How were the salaries reported?

That would make a big difference. Was it just salary, or salary and benefits? With benefits added in, it could look like someone is making a HUGE amount of money. And John or Jane Q. Public will not bother to look at HOW the salary is computed, only the bottom line number.

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Response to Lifelong Protester (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:47 AM

5. Salary only

From what I see they are reporting only the salary. This is surprising because if they printed the benefits they could inflame John Q. Public's meager brain even more.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:51 AM

6. is this gross pay...?


5.9% for retirement plus health-care insurance

http://www.uwsa.edu/hr/benefits/retsav/wrs.htm

http://www.wisconsin.edu/hr/benefits/ins/sgh2012.pdf

did the paper include the deductions?

i can`t get the blue cheddar link to work

from what i read on the state`s site i`d say wisconsin is far better shape than the huge mess here in illinois.

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Response to madrchsod (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 01:02 PM

7. Yes, gross pay before any deductions...nt

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