I left a comment mentioning their pay.
Someone else left a comment suggesting that I – or perhaps the writers of that site – look at salaries in the governor’s office.
“The salaries you should report on are in the Govs office. Take a look at what even the secretaries for Steve and Mike are making. The Govs office got their pay raises even when state budgets were being cut.”
So I went ahead and took a look at those salaries and left this comment:
“I see that Bullock is making $53.64 an hour. Three people in the Governor's Office are making more than him:
Tracy Stone-Manning: $56.05
Ali Bovingdon: $54.37
Dan Villa: $54.37
Mike Cooney makes $41.52 an hour. Eric Stern is $41.37. Not sure who these secretaries are, but I see that personal staff members Tim Baker ($53.14) and Andy Huff ($45.20) are making quite a lot.
Since then I’ve been thinking…who makes the most?
Of course we have our two flagship university presidents making over $300,000 a year.
Their boss - Clayton Christian, the Commissioner of Higher Education – makes $300,000 a year.
Governor Steve Bullock only makes $111,569 a year, or as you saw…$53.64 an hour.
Let’s dig into what some others are making, huh?
You’ll find this information on the State Employee Data page.
The easiest thing to do is simply to generate a generic search of all state departments, download the spreadsheet, and then sort the salaries from highest to lowest.
There are over 14,000 rows of data to parse through.
This is what we find for the highest paid state workers in Montana:
- $148.66 an hour for Clayton Christian, the Commissioner of Higher Education in Helena
- $146.64 an hour for Laurence Hubbard, the President of Montana State Fund in Helena
- $124.47 an hour for Virginia Hill, a Psychiatrist at Warm Springs
- $122.54 an hour for James Gray, Jr., the Medical Director at Warm Springs
- $117.11 an hour for Harry Sibold, a Primary Care Physician for Dept. of Labor in Helena
- $113.96 an hour for Robert Kurtzman, the Medical Examiner in Billings
- $110.58 an hour for Joseph Cullen, on the Board of Investments in Helena
- $110 an hour for Tatjana Caddell, a Psychiatrist at Warm Springs
- $106.60 an hour for Albert Parisian, the Montana State Fund CIO
- $101.29 an hour for Liviu Constantin, a Psychiatrist at Warm Springs
- $100.96 an hour for David Ewer, on the Board of Investments in Helena
- $100 an hour for Sunil Prashar, the Medical Examiner in Missoula
Those are all the people making $100 an hour or more. As you can see, many are doctors.
Those are the 13 highest paid state workers in Montana.
After that we get three more medical examiners, a dentist, a primary care doctor, a Montana State Fund Corporate Support VP (Mark Barry, $96.25 an hour), and then a lot more shrinks.
It’s around this time that many of our legislators start popping up in the spreadsheet…but that’s only because they get paid $95.64 to $90.64 a day.
Austin Knudsen and Scott Sales get paid $5 more a day because they have leadership positions.
Now let’s get into some of the ‘more interesting’ entries.
- $90 an hour for Patrick Beddow, an OPI personal staff member
- $79.33 an hour for John Cech at the Commissioner of Higher Education Office
- $76.45 an hour for Richard Duane, Jr., a VP of hiring at Montana State Fund
- $75.72 an hour for Charles Jensen at the Commissioner of Higher Education Office
- $70.60 an hour for Mary Dalton, an Advanced Practice Nurse at DPHHS in Warm Springs
- $68 an hour for Katherine Orr, a Lawyer with Corrections in Helena (also makes $65 an hour as a Lawyer for Justice)
- $66.39 an hour for Vivian Hammill at the Commissioner of Higher Education Office
- $66.39 for Kevin McRae at the Commissioner of Higher Education Office
- $66.39 for Tyler Trevor at the Commissioner of Higher Education Office
- $66.13 an hour for Mike McGrath on the Montana Supreme Court
- $65.47 an hour for Mike Wheat on the Montana Supreme Court
- $60.64 an hour for Judge Russell Fagg in Billings
- $50.31 an hour for OPI head Elsie Arntzen
- $49.73 an hour for Montana Historical Society Director Bruce Whittenberg
- $49.04 an hour for Angela McLean, in the Commissioner of Higher Education Office
- $48.47 an hour for Travis Kavulla of the PSC
- $47.89 an hour for Sheri Scurr, a Researcher with the Legislative Branch
- $47.47 an hour for Angela Wong, the head of the Dept. of Admin
- $47.33 an hour for Jon Bennion, who’s on the personal staff of Tim Fox in Justice
- $44.94 an hour for Jessica Rhoades, a personal staff member for Steve Bullock
- $44.34 for Secretary of State Corey Stapleton
- $41.37 for Eric Stern, a personal staff member for Steve Bullock
- $38.96 an hour for Rona Abel, a member of Steve Bullock’s personal staff
- $37.67 for David Parker, Program Manager at the Dept. of Commerce
That’s 900 entries into the spreadsheet, and that gets us to the $40 an hour range.
This is where we see more of the normal, regular-Joe state workers that just want to be left alone.
These are career people, the kind the highly-paid politicians and political appointees say they care about, but when it’s time for the ol’ pay raises, we quickly see that isn’t true.
Again, I wonder who works harder.
Finally, let’s get to the lowest paid state workers in Montana:
- $7.61 an hour for Jeff Stroud, a teacher in Great Falls
- $7.87 an hour for Heidi Haymaker, a Board of Education paraprofessional in Great Falls
- $7.93 an hour for Erica Peterson, a teacher in Great Falls
- $8.15 an hour for Molly Yager, a legislative page in Helena
- $8.15 an hour for Lyzia Brown, a facility maintenance worker with DPHHS in Warm Springs
- $8.24 an hour for Christina Haagenson, a teacher in Great Falls
- $8.29 an hour for Stefani Brewer, a teacher in Great Falls
- $8.65 an hour for Melissa Gardner, a tour guide in Helena
- $9 an hour for Augustus Thompson, a herder in Bozeman
You get the idea.
We see a lot of Montana State Fund and Commissioner of Higher Education Workers making lots of money.
Many of these bureaucrats make more money that doctors and nurses.
It’s a real shame seeing so many teachers making so little…especially when the head of the teacher’s union in Montana is making $125,000 a year.
One last time…I wonder who works harder.