Photo: Max Marin/AL DÍA News

5 takeaways from searching Philadelphia employee salaries

Here are five takeaways.


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The Kenney administration has released a searchable dataset of the salaries and overtime pay of more than 30,000 city employees. It represents a huge victory for open data advocates and fiscal watchdogs. There’s a lot to dig through here, but here are some initial findings.


1. Overtime racks up fast, especially in the police department.

It’s a contentious issue. The city spent nearly $215 million on overtime in 2014, representing a 16 percent increase from the previous year. Regardless, the police department routinely represents the largest chunk of this overtime.

So far this year, the PPD has racked up $16,043,467 in extra-hours pay. Interestingly enough, if the department continues at this current clip, it will pay out over $64,000,000 in overtime by the year’s end. That’s a noteworthy decrease from the $74 million it paid out in 2015.


2. For a select few city workers, overtime can double your salary.

Just over three months into 2016, it looks like 21 city workers have accrued more than $20,000 in overtime. Homicide detectives and their supervisors top the list — and for a good reason, according to former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.

“If working the case, I don’t want you to go home,” Ramsey told the Inquirer in 2013, adding that overnight detectives often “go beyond their tour of duty” in homicide investigations.

The top overtime earner is currently Detective Levi Morton, with $24,368 to date. At this clip, Morton will earn more than $100,000 in overtime this year, surpassing his $78,000 base salary.


3. Despite some high earners, most of those getting OT are averaging $2,872 right now (about $11,500 a year).

Just 546 out of all city workers have earned more than $10,000 or more in OT to date, while 8,433 have earned $2,000 or more. The lowest overtime earner this year has made $15.


4. Across all city departments, just shy of 700 employees earn six-figure salaries.

(Again, the police department has the most, with 123 employees earning over $100,000 a year.) In City Council offices, 29 out of 217 employees make the six-figure salary. The majority of Council staffers make between $40,000 and $99,999 a year.


5. Only 11 of those six-figure earners make over $200,000 a year.

  • Sam Gulino, Medical examiner ($260,730)
  • Richard Ross Jr., police commissioner ($240,000)
  • Albert Chu, deputy medical examiner ($231,505)
  • Mayor Jim Kenney ($217,820)
  • Rochelle Cameron, CEO for the division of aviation ($215,500)
  • Khalil Wardak, Assistant medical examiner ($210,459)
  • Victoria Sorokin, Assistant medical examiner ($210,459)
  • Michael DiBerardinis, managing director ($205,000)
  • Francis Bielli, Executive director for the Board of Pensions ($204,740)
  • Siobhan Reardon, president and director of the Free Library ($204,219)
  • Nola Joyce, deputy managing director ($201,721)

You can explore the data for yourself on the city’s open data website, or on’s data hub.


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