State workers' pay rates now online - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

State workers' pay rates now online

Nellie Humphries had no problem with people knowing her pay rate. Most that were upset, however, didn't want to talk on camera. Nellie Humphries had no problem with people knowing her pay rate. Most that were upset, however, didn't want to talk on camera.
As part of the state's open check book, people like Maggie Harmon can no longer keep their pay rate to themselves. As part of the state's open check book, people like Maggie Harmon can no longer keep their pay rate to themselves.

Written by: Eileen Jones - bio | email
Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A new initiative by Governor Bob Riley's office will be the talk of every state office from the Tennessee Valley to the Wiregrass Tuesday.

Every single check written by the State of Alabama - including employee paychecks - is now a click away from any on-line connection.

The question some are now asking, will it create a morale problem among state workers?

Finding out how much an employee makes, something that used to be confidential, now takes less than 20 seconds. Click on the internet, go to www.open.alabama.gov, then click on state spending and there it is, the state checkbook.

A quick search showed that Nellie Humphries makes $2,807 every two weeks prior to deductions. WSFA 12 News contacted Humphries for her reaction. "I don't have a problem with people knowing what I make," she said. She didn't have a particular reason as to why.

Humphries' salary totals about $67,000 per year.

Julie Lindsey's pay is $3,780 every two weeks before deductions. Her reaction? "If someone else wants to look at my compensation and determine whether they think I'm being paid fairly that's fine with me."

When WSFA 12 News asked her how much she made she had to think for a minute before saying she wasn't exactly sure. She thought the average was around $90,000 per year.

But knowing what your co-workers are making can cause problems in the office. "Somebody who's not doing as much as you're doing should not be making more money," explained Ernestine Crowell, another state employee.

Most who are unhappy with the website didn't want to talk on camera, but Governor Riley's office says this is all about transparency and putting the state's whole check book online. "This is not only an executive order issued by the governor," explained Governor Riley's spokesman Jeff Emerson. "The state legislature, after the governor issued an executive order, came behind him and passed a law mandating that all this information be put on the web site."

The governor's office says employees' salaries were already available to the public by just picking up the telephone. Now, it's even easier. 

©2009 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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