Why Pittsburgh still can’t tell you how much city employees earn in overtime

PublicSource wants you to know how your tax dollars are being spent. We posted state salaries on our website. We downloaded and posted Pennsylvania teacher salary data from its confusing spot on the state Department of Education’s website. We wrote about large amounts of overtime pay among the nursing staff at the Allegheny County-owned Kane Regional Centers.

We were able to do an analysis of how much overtime employees were earning at the Kane Regional Centers because the county’s payroll department is able to separate regular pay from overtime pay.

Pittsburgh, on the other hand, was not able to produce a report that divides regular pay, overtime pay, bonuses and total pay. That’s because of the city’s poor payroll management system and the failed attempts to improve the system.

PublicSource explained the city’s struggles with its payroll system in September. At that time, the city had spent nearly $1.7 million to fix its payroll system.

Mayor Bill Peduto canceled the city’s contract with payroll contractor Denovo Ventures in April 2014 because he didn’t have faith in the company’s ability to fix the city’s payroll system.

City Controller Michael Lamb and others were pushing the mayor to select a new firm as quickly as possible to get the projected finished.

Since our September story, the city selected a new company, Pittsburgh-based Independent Catalyst, to complete the work that was begun by Denovo. The firm is working on the project while the contract is being finalized in the city’s legal department.

The city’s highest paid employees in 2013 were Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, at $108,131; Chief of Staff Yarone Zober, at $102,135, and Director of Operations Duane Ashley, at $101,369. (See all the data and graphics on 2013 Pittsburgh public employee salaries below.)

The city staff is 77 percent male and 23 percent female. But most of the jobs are in the departments of Public Safety and Public Works. In 2012 and 2013, nearly two-thirds of city employees were in public safety, and nearly 80 percent of them were men. In public works, about 92 percent of the employees were men.

Outside of those two departments, more than 55 percent of the city staff were women.

Reach Eric Holmberg at 412-315-0266 or at eholmberg@publicsource.org. Follow him on Twitter @holmberges.