FOX 7 is taking a closer look at who is bringing home big salaries in the state of Texas. Those salaries are paid by you the taxpayer. We spent some time digging through the state's salary database and found some eye popping numbers. We are talking about local city and state workers who are making more than some of the sky high salaries in Silicon Valley.
Our Commander in Chief earns a salary of 400K a year. The governor of Texas earns 150K a year. Both handsome salaries, but did you know that some city and state workers are making more?
According to the latest numbers from the state, despite stricter budgets, salaries are on the rise for dozens of city, county and state workers.
The biggest paycheck over the last two years went to Former UT football coach Mack Brown raking in a whopping $5,266,267. His recent replacement, Charlie Strong, isn't far behind with $5 million just for the 2014 season....and that doesn't include their bonus packages.
Universities and university hospitals make up the top 20 paying agencies in the state with Texas State University system rounding out the bottom tier--- with the chancellor at $500,000.
The highest paid local city employee is the General Manager of Austin Energy at $311,173. City Manager Mark Ott is just behind with a salary of $301, 504.
The top paid teacher in the state works at The Texas School for the Blind and brings in $106,171, compare that to an average $49,826.
The Texas School for the Blind says contrary to what the state database says, the "teacher" is actually a "principal" for the school.
The highest earning police officer in Texas works for Austin Police, bringing in $153,837 with overtime. That's more than the Round Rock Police Chief's salary. The average pay for an APD officer is $60,174.
"We have many, many government employees who are making huge salaries," said Roger Falk of the Travis County Taxpayers Union.
Researching income comes natural to Roger Falk, who's with the Travis County Taxpayers Union.
"When you look at the budgets and follow the money and you see the way these salaries grow with a cushion like at UT," Falk said.
Then comes the issue of base salary versus overtime. For example, look at the salary of the top earning bus operator in the state. She is an employee of StarTran, which provides bus transportation services for the City of Austin. Her salary? $117,805.
Falk says this could be a case of overtime pay exceeding the base salary of a city or state worker.
And no one is asking the question why is the city of Austin overhead so high...when compared to other cities...it's twice El Paso it's 50 percent higher than San Antonio.
And take a look at Austin's overall budget. Falk says despite the fact that fewer people live in Austin than in cities like San Antonio or Dallas, our city has the largest budget at $3.3 billion.
We did a study with some comparisons from city to city. What do you get for your money and how much are paying per citizen and Austin is by far the highest per capita against the budget in cases like even San Antonio.
Austin may be a pricey Texas city to work for, but one that comes with its share of benefits -- especially when you consider the results of the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics study, which shows that those who work in the public sector make 44 percent more than those in the private sector and have more job security.
That Bureau of Labor statistics study also reveals that you are 2/3 more likely to get fired if you work for private companies than if you work for the public sector.