Overtime Payments Increase for State Employees
Seventy-seven state employees, including 29 doctors with the Department of Mental Health, had salaries of at least $200,000 in 2005, a 60% increase over 2004, according to payroll records, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The salaries reflect an increase in overtime payments and "raise questions about the state's ability to rein in overtime costs," according to the Chronicle.
According to state figures:
- Twice as many doctors and psychiatrists at the mental health department earned at least $200,000 in 2005;
- More doctors at state prisons earned more than $200,000 in 2005 by working overtime, compared with 2004;
- The state's nine highest-paid employees work for CalPERS and the California State Teachers' Retirement System; and
- Zach Hall, president of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, earned $284,386 last year, though his full-year salary totals $389,004.
Kirsten Macintyre, a spokesperson for DMH, defended the overtime payments, saying that doctors are working overtime to cover shifts at a new hospital that opened in September while the state works to hire more employees. The state prison system also is struggling to hire enough doctors to fill all its shifts, according to the Chronicle (Wallack, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/24). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.