The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

February 16, 2007

65,000 state employees’ salaries posted online — and they’re angry

CHARLESTON — Some state workers are angry the state Auditor has posted theirs and 65,000 other state employees’ total pay on the Internet.

They say it’s breeding animosity and pettiness among co-workers, even though the information has always been public record.

Workers at the state Capitol were abuzz Wednesday when Auditor Glen Gainer announced a link on his office’s Web site that reveals annual salaries and other compensation for every person on the state’s payroll.

West Virginia University football coach Rich Rodriguez topped the list with more than $1.2 million in compensation last year, while 640 workers earned six-figure salaries or higher. The total state payroll was more than $1.4 billion.

The report was made available online earlier this month, but since it has been publicized this week, interest has peaked.

“I thought that was amazing that the grapevine is alive and well in state government,” Gainer said.

One of those people who saw the report online was Terri Lewis, a Charleston resident who has worked for the Division of Motor Vehicles for the past 21 years.

Lewis, an office assistant who made $21,954 last year, said she’s angry about the report now that she knows what some of her co-workers are being paid. She said people who’ve been with the state for less time than she has in some cases earn up to $9,000 more than her.

“They want you to feel good about your job, but how could you when you look at these other people’s salaries?” Lewis said. “We were shocked at what some of the other people make sitting right next to us.”

Connie Hunt, of Chesapeake, who has also worked for the DMV for 18 years, said she’s embarrassed for people to know her wages — $23,143 last year, by the way.

“It’s a shame,” she said.

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