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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Luzerne County Controller Earns $36,562 A Year In Salary

I was shocked when I read the salary paid to the Luzerne County Controller in a Times Leader article. Now if you are working at WalMart that would seem like a fortune, but when married against the responsibilities of the job, the amount is a joke. Why?

...A tenured teacher in the Scranton School District, working 9.5 months a year, can earn nearly double that salary
...The starting salary for a Pennsylvania State Trooper is $17,267 more than that of the Controller
...The starting salary for a police officer in the City of Wilkes-Barre is $10,414 more than that of the Controller
...The average salary for an Accounts Receivable Manager in Wilkes-Barre is $7,956 more than that of the Controller

Quick show of hands: Anyone reading this believe that the Luzerne County Controller has fewer responsibilities than that of an Accounts Receivable Manager ?

I could continue, but the point is made.

This is simply insane. When it comes to professional talent, you get what you pay for. Pay crap and you get crap. Think about the responsibilities of this job. Is this really a job where you want to low-ball talent?


Anonymous said...

Hi Steve,

It is a common mis-conception that teachers are paid for summers.

Teachers work on contracts. A teachers "services" are contracted for a certain price. For example, that "price" might be 40K. They recieve 40K to teach. The reason teaches recieve a checks over the summer is that they choose to have it divided up oveer 52 weeks a year rather then 9 months. However some teaches DO have the option to simply recieve pay over the 9 months of school.

Father Dave Bechtel

Stephen Albert said... wife is a teacher for the Scranton School District, so I'm actually very familiar with the methods of pay. That noted, she is only in the classroom from about the last week of August to about the second week in June. A County Controller is working 52 weeks a year, sans a few weeks for vacation & holidays.

My point was not to note that teachers are overpaid, but rather that the Luzerne County Controller position is dramatically under-paid.

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve,

I didn't take your comment as complaining about teachers being over paid.

I just wasn't sure if you knew that teachers are not paid for the summers. Actually I was surprised at the County Finance person's salary myself. Then again- I have always been told that a government job doesn't pay well (unless you are a judge, or other high government official) but you get great health care benefits.

Father Dave Bechtel

Stephen Albert said...

I didn't take it that way Father Bechtel. Actually my wife has always had her pay stretched out over 12 months, as it makes it easier for her to manage her finances.

The pay shocked me, quite honestly. I know people where I work who earn more but who have far less responsibility. This may be a bit of a stretch on my part, but I can't help but believe that the incredibly low pay offered by these jobs may play some part in all the graft that seemingly happens at a county level. Regardless, you are probably right about the healthcare benefits, although these days I don't think anyone is getting anything all that great.