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April 05, 2016

Salaries for every Philly city employee now available online

Mayor Kenney called move part of commitment to open data and transparency

Government Data
Philadelphia City Hall Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Philadelphia City Hall

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced the release of the salaries of all city employees Tuesday in a huge data dump — a move he says is to continue promoting transparency.

The data includes the annual salaries and overtime pay of workers in every city department, including elected officials, as of March 22, 2016. The information will be updated every three months, according to a press release.

“Every day, I see an example of a City worker exceeding the high bar of accountability this administration has set,” Kenney said. “Today, we’re taking that accountability a step further by releasing this data set.”

Philadelphia's Chief Data Officer Tim Wisniewski echoed a similar sentiment.

"It's about open government, it's about transparency, it's about enhancing trust in government," he told PhillyVoice Tuesday.

City employees' salaries have always been public information, however, previously, accessing that information required a right-to-know request. Philly notes that during a January interview Kenney's spokesperson Laurent Hitt said government employees' salaries are frequently the subject of those requests.

Wisniewski said this release would certainly make the information easier for citizens to access that information, but also said there was no specific factor that led to the decision to release the data.

"It wasn't a thing where it was like 'Oh man, we need to publish this,'" he said, saying instead Kenney's decision to put the information online was apart of the city's continued commitment to open data.

In 2014, the Philadelphia School District released all of its employees' salaries. Similar releases have happened in Chicago and the state of New Jersey. All three cases were looked at by the city's open data team before Tuesday's release, Wisniewski said.

According to the data, here are the city's top five highest paid employees:

  1. Sam Gulino - Medical Examiner - $260,730
  2. Richard Ross - Police Commissioner - $240,000
  3. Albert Chu - Deputy Medical Examiner - $231,505
  4. Jim Kenney - Mayor - $217,820
  5. Rochelle Cameron - CEO of PHL Airport - $215,000

You can access the data for the city's more than 30,000 employees at Information on the salaries is available in a number of datasets here, including a visual graphic page here and a more Microsoft Excel-style page here.