77,000 feds earn more than their governors, report finds

More than 77,000 federal workers earned more than the governors of their states in 2009, according to a new report.

The research found 18,351 federal medical officers earned more than their governors -- the most common occupation to out-earn states' top government executives. More than 5,000 air traffic controllers, 4,346 attorneys, 16 outdoor recreation planners and one interior designer also earned more than the governors of their respective states, the report said.

The Congressional Research Service report, requested by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., based its comparison on 2009 federal salary data from the Office of Personnel Management and 2009 salaries of governors from the Council of State Governments. The research is dated May 6 and was first reported Tuesday by The Washington Times.

The report did not examine salaries of employees in the Office of the Vice President, White House, CIA, U.S. Postal Service or a handful of other government agencies.

Governor salaries ranged between $70,000 in Maine and $212,179 in California in 2009, according to the report, which noted that California Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger waived his payment while in office. The governors of Virginia and New Jersey tied for fifth highest salaries in 2009 at $175,000; in Virginia, 606 feds earned more than that figure.

Colorado had the most federal employees -- 10,875 -- with salaries higher than the state's governor, who earned $90,000 in 2009. Maryland placed second, with 7,283 feds earning more than Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley's salary of $150,000 -- including 2,266 medical officers, 51 employees in human resources, and 30 employees in information and arts. Delaware had the fewest number of federal employees -- 37 -- earning more than the governor, the report found.

The American Federation of Government Employees, the largest federal employee union, pointed to proposed legislation that would cap at $200,000 federal reimbursement for contractor salaries.

"The government's paying $700,000 and more for contractor salaries, and Sen. Coburn worries about the pay of physicians who care for wounded soldiers?" Beth Moten, AFGE's legislative and political director, asked in an emailed statement.

In an emailed response to Government Executive, Coburn said no one would disagree that federal employees should be paid adequately. "We can all agree on the importance of paying highly specialized doctors to care for wounded soldiers and veterans, or skilled engineers for their services," he said. "However, when our nation is over $14 trillion in debt and American families are struggling to make ends meet, this report begs for an explanation of why interior designers, recreation planners and other public employees are enjoying higher salaries than state governors."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.