How Public Agencies Stacked Up in the Pay Department

Some taxpayer-supported Southern Nevada agencies paid their employees more in 2012 than in 2009 despite the sluggish economy while other entities hurt by the recession slashed wages and other workforce payments, an 8 News NOW examination shows.

The Clark County School District increased its spending on full- and part-time employee pay from $1.47 billion to $1.51 billion, as did the Southern Nevada Water Authority (from $125.4 million to $130.3 million), Southern Nevada Health District (from $35.9 million to $37.7 million) and Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (from $29.8 million to $31.6 million).

Decreases were recorded by Clark County, Las Vegas, Henderson, Metro Police, UNLV and the Regional Transportation Commission. But the sharpest cuts by far percentage-wise occurred in North Las Vegas, where total pay fell from $159.4 million to $104.7 million, a 34.3 percent decline.

Total pay includes base pay, overtime, other pay such as longevity and call back pay, and separation pay for employees who leave their agency.

Among other noteworthy findings:

* The water authority last year had by far the highest total pay per employee, $89,503, well ahead of runner-up Metro Police at $71,366. The water authority's average total pay hike of $12,199 per employee from 2009 through 2012 also was the biggest increase in Southern Nevada.

* The College of Southern Nevada in 2012 had the lowest average pay per employee, $26,862.

* The school district in 2012 topped all Southern Nevada public entities by spending $1.39 billion on base pay and $1.51 billion on total pay.

* Las Vegas spent the most last year on overtime at $18.08 million, barely edging the $18.04 million shelled out by the county. Las Vegas also paid more in overtime per worker, $5,188, than anyone else by a wide margin.

* The county led Southern Nevada entities in 2012 by spending nearly $46.3 million on separation pay, more than quadruple what it paid in 2011. But North Las Vegas shelled out the most by far last year in separation pay per worker at $8,092, nearly four times what it paid per employee in 2011.

A similar examination involving only workers who were paid at least $20,000 -- which excludes most part-time jobs -- shows that the water authority still maintained the highest average total pay of $90,895 per employee in 2012. But Las Vegas ($88,165) and Henderson ($87,412) were close behind.

Las Vegas also paid the most in overtime per employee, $7,447, with Henderson at $4,034 a distant second. North Las Vegas led the way last year in separation pay at $11,748 per employee, well ahead of the county, the runner-up in this category at $6,603.

The school district had the lowest average pay per employee at $51,033.


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