141215 Payroll Puzzle


Caesar Rodney's Transparent Delaware website has been updated to include state employee payroll data through 2013. An initial pass at the latest data continues to raise the question as to why the State of Delaware government doesn't systematically track its supplemental pay system.

What jumps out from the data?

First, supplemental pay (overtime and "other") adds a major boost to State of Delaware salaries. In 2013 overtime pay added 2.7% to the state's total salaries of $1.8 billion and other pay added another 6.5%. The over $161 million allotted in supplemental pay constituted a 9.3% hike to employee compensation.

Second, "other" pay (which includes shift differential, uniform allowance, compensation for unused vacation upon retirement) is growing rapidly. Over the last five years as total salaries rose 8.8%, overtime pay dropped by 8.1% and "other" pay jumped 17.9%. It appears that "other" pay is increasingly the preferred path to boosting regular salaries.

Third, the distribution of supplemental pay among State employees remains skewed. 882 State employees (1.8% of salaried employees) received overtime and other pay equal to or greater than 100% of their salary (5.9% of all supplemental pay). 5,722 State employees (11.5%) received overtime and other pay equal to or greater than 50% of their salary (40.7% of all supplemental pay).

12,888 State employees with salaries of $50K or more (25.9% of all salaried employees) received  52.7% of all salary, 28.4% of all overtime, 36.0% of all other pay, and 33.7% of all supplemental pay.

Fourth, much of this skewed distribution makes sense given the nature of the work involved. The Department of Corrections and the State Police, for example, put in a great deal of overtime and get allowances for uniforms and personal equipment, as do workers at the Delaware Psychiatric Center. More questionable is the 26.4% boost that supplemental pay provides to State Food Services workers.

Fifth, the compensation packages for selected individuals jump out from the data. Dr. Orlando George, Jr., for example, received $99 thousand of supplemental pay on top of a salary of $371 thousand, making him far and away the highest paid state employee.

The second highest paid employee was Ekeoma Wogu in Health and Social Services who in addition to a salary of $60 thousand, received $149 thousand of overtime pay and $15 thousand of "other" pay. That much overtime pay seems equivalent to holding at least 3 full-time jobs, making sleep difficult.

As Caesar Rodney Institute has stated frequently, the data alone provides no basis for pointing fingers or accusing individuals of malfeasance. All Caesar Rodney requests is that the State scan its payroll records to separate out all employees for whom supplemental pay exceeds 50% of their salary and conduct due diligence to confirm the validity of that supplemental pay.

That would seem to be fair to taxpayers and the majority of State employees who receive little or no supplemental pay.

Dr. John E. Stapleford


Caesar Rodney Institute