- Special Projects
Editor’s note: One of Civil Beat’s most popular features, the database of public employee salaries, has been updated to reflect numbers for the 2018 fiscal year, which began July 1. We update the salary database every two years, when new union contracts are signed and a new state budget is put in place reflecting the salary increases.
How much do we pay people who work for state and county governments?
There are 11,431 answers to that question in the latest version of Honolulu Civil Beat’s database of public employee salaries.
The database is still a work in progress as we wait for officials with various county and state agencies to submit their salary information. But we figured we had enough to start sharing. We’ll let you know when we add more, including from Honolulu Hale and the state Department of Education.
If the agency you’re looking for isn’t included yet in the database, you can always check our previous one for the 2016 fiscal year by clicking here.
A couple of things to keep in mind as you peruse the database:
• Employees at each agency are displayed from highest-paid to lowest-paid.
• As allowed under state law, some organizations list pay ranges instead of specific salaries for many of their employees. In those cases, the order of presentation is dictated by the high end of the range.
In some sports-crazy states, the head football coach is the highest-paid university employee. Not in Hawaii. University of Hawaii coach Nick Rolovich is doing OK at $400,008, but he’s still in fourth place.
The top UH wage-earner is Jerris Hedges, dean of the medical school, at $534,840, followed by Aviam Soifer, dean of the law school, at $416,256, and Randall Holcomb, director of the Research Institute, at $410,004.
All work at the Manoa campus and are paid more than the president of the statewide UH system, David Lassner, who makes $375,000.
UH Manoa has 12 employees earning more than $300,000 and 72 employees making more than $200,000.
Beyond Manoa, the top-paid university employee was UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney at $319,248, but he left that post Aug. 1 to become vice president of academic planning and policy for the statewide system.
His interim replacement at UH Hilo, Marcia Sakai, was being paid $219,984 in her post as a vice chancellor.
Chancellors at the system’s other colleges earn from $160,320 to $235,008, while the systemwide vice president for community colleges, John Morton, makes $251,784.
Potentially the lowest-paid UH full-timer is a general clerical worker for the systemwide organization, with a range of $23,652 to $37,800.
Here’s a look at the top 10 wage-earners in the UH system:
|Jerris Hedges||University of Hawaii Manoa||Dean, Medicine and Professor||$534,840|
|Aviam Soifer||University of Hawaii Manoa||Dean, Law Professor||$416,256|
|Randall Holcombe||University of Hawaii Manoa||Research Institute Director||$410,004|
|Nicholas Rolovich||University of Hawaii Manoa||UH Head Football Coach||$400,008|
|Vernon Vance Roley||University of Hawaii Manoa||Dean, Business; Chair, First Hawaiian Bank; Professor||$393,816|
|David Lassner||University of Hawaii Systemwide||President||$375,000|
|Carl-Wilhelm Vogel||University of Hawaii Manoa||Researcher, 11-Months||$336,144|
|Michele Carbone||University of Hawaii Manoa||Researcher, 11-Months||$335,268|
|Ralph Victor Shohet||University of Hawaii Manoa||Professor, Medicine, 11-Months||$335,268|
|Thomas Apple||University of Hawaii Manoa||Professor, Department Chair||$323,412|
When Civil Beat compiled the 2016 database, the state’s highest-paid public employees worked not for UH but for the Hawaii Health Services Corp.
That appears to still be the case, with 34 HHSC employees earning $200,000 or more. Of those, 18 are listed as staff physicians, 11 as administrators and four as staff surgeons. The other one is Chief Information Officer Jeff Eilers at $240,699.
The top earner at HHSC is surgeon Jay Boughanem at $600,000. Still, HHSC’s payroll for surgeons has shrunk since fiscal year 2016, when four surgeons were earning from $625,000 to $786,000.
Out of 2,050 full-time HHSC employees, the lowest paid are nurse aides, room aides and transporters, all in the range of $36,780 to $39,324.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the agencies that monitor the performance and behavior of the government have small staffs.
The State Ethics Commission has 10 full-time employees. The highest paid is Executive Director Daniel Gluck at $144,552. The lowest-paid is a secretary at $50,000.
There are 24 full-time workers in the state Office of the Auditor, with Auditor Les Kondo highest-paid at $144,552 and a secretary lowest paid at $52,008.
And the state Office of the Ombudsman has 13-full employees. Top paid is Ombudsman Robin Matsunaga at $144,552; lowest paid is an administrative assistant at $51,570.
Much bigger staffs keep the Legislature operating, including 170 employees at the House of Representatives. Top paid is chief clerk Brian Takeshita at $144,612. Lowest paid are analysts at $38,688. The representatives themselves earn $61,380.
The state Senate employs 126 people, with majority office director Casey Hines the highest paid at $122,148 and an accounting clerk the lowest at $38,556. Senators earn $61,380, except for Senate President Ron Kouchi, who makes $68,880.
There are 37 full-timers at the Legislative Reference Bureau, where Director Charlotte Carter-Yamauchi is top paid at $144,552 and a secretary is lowest paid at $38,196.
Here’s a quick look at the other agencies that are included in the first installment of the database:
• Kauai County lists 1,321 employees, and Mayor Bernard Carvalho is not necessarily the highest paid at $132,000.
That’s because Kauai has vast salary ranges, with 12 people earning somewhere between $88,128 and $154,176.
Police Chief Darryl Perry and Fire Chief Robert Westernan both earn $127,313.
• At the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Chief Executive Officer Kamana’opono Crabbe is the highest paid of 164 employees at $150,000. An intake referral specialist is lowest paid at $34,692.
• And at the Honolulu Board of Water Supply, manager and chief engineer Ernest Lau earns $165,983, but some administrators are in a range from $102,192 to $170,100.
The board lists 578 employees, with the lowest paid being meter readers and a clerk at $27,132.