I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Pay Compression, Part II: A 3-Year Look at ECSO W-2 Data

Total Compensation as reported on W-2 forms for the Escambia County Sheriff's Office for the last 3 tax years--where is the compression?

After reviewing total compensation figures reported on the W-2 forms for ECSO employees for the last three tax years (summarized in the table above), some interesting data emerges.

--As it relates to "pay compression" that has been indicated as a major issue within the ECSO, the spread between the pay bands above appears to indicate a normal distribution (without compression)-- with what looks like personnel that are near the top of the ranges being longer term employees nearing the end of a career, with a large number of personnel at the bottom of the chart either starting out, or working only part of the years in question, and a significant number of personnel in the middle range of pay--as one would expect to see with any large organization. 

--Over the last three tax years, a growing percentage of employees are entering the above $50K total compensation threshold, growing from just 18% of the employees earning more than $50K in 2014, to more than 26% going over that mark in 2016.  (Average Pensacola-area salary for 2016 is $41,388.00 according to

--On the other end of the spectrum, when we exclude employees that earned less than $19K (which includes a large number of new hires that did not stay on for a variety of reasons) We see that the total percentage of employees that earned total compensation of $49K or less has decreased significantly, from  70% of employees in 2014, to 67% of employees in 2015, to just 57% of employees in 2016.

I am told these W-2 figures indicated above include all compensation (assignment pay, shift differentials, police bonuses, educational attainment pay, longevity, overtime, etc.) however, these figures DO NOT include the compensation earned by deputies that work off-duty assignments.  (these officers receive IRS Form 1099's from private entities that hire deputies)  Therefore, in many instances, the pay for individual officers was actually higher than what is indicated in the chart above because the 1099 information is not available to add in to the totals.


Janes said...

Where to begin... You still compare law enforcement jobs with jobs in the private sector. Law enforcement jobs are not comparable to someone who may wait tables or wire houses for a living. Unfortunately for people with low opinion of law enforcement such as yourself law enforcement is an absolutely indispensable element to keep society safe from anarchy. Not to insult or put anyone down but society could go 10 years with no waitresses 10 years with no file clerks 10 years with no lawyers and society would struggle, but continue. Go five years with no law enforcement officers and see what happens. Part of your post is just pure propaganda anyway. When you said these w-2's do not include the amounts from any off duty jobs that would be reported on a 10-99 and therefore the pay would be even higher.. give me a break. You are a businessman you know what a 1099 is. It indicates self employment. Not money paid by or behalf of the Sheriff's office. This is money these officers make by working for private businesses to supplement their income. And by the way they have to pay 28% tax right off the top. And I believe that the BOCC collects $2.00 for every hour the deputies work these jobs so you should have been able to work the numbers out. You want to confuse the issues. You make $73,000.00 a year for a part time job. Are we to then ask you what you make in your private business or employment and add it to your BOCC pay and claim that is what you make as a commissioner? And why are you spending so much time making your own charts and graphs when the commission has already paid a private firm to do it? You trying to come up with a more favorable result for the BOCC? Shall we pick the commission's budget apart? Why were all those millions spent on two boats that are in shrink wrap at port? Then the jail debacle. I know you are going to say "I wasn't on the commission then". Well I guess you are getting a little taste of what law enforcement goes through all the time...that is to be blamed for the sins of a few. Oh and about the 1099's again the commission should know how that works. Remember the BOCC's CRA. We will get back to that later.

Jeff Bergosh said...

Janes-thanks for the response but let me correct your false assertion: I do value and respect Law Enforcement Officers. I think they get a bad rap and are blamed for lots of what is happening in society today. In fact, I not only say this everywhere I go--I even wrote an op-ed in the PNJ two years ago (before I was a commissioner) that went viral on the web about how it is shameful the way police officers and public school teachers are blamed for social dysfunction in certain segments of society. Read it, and you will know exactly where I stand.

Now--to your point about why I undertake analysis of W-2's... All summer long we have been attacked, personally, by your boss. I hardly know the man, and instead of reaching out to us, he just started an attack on us. He's been sheriff 9 years, I'm in the seat 9 months and I'm being blamed because the ECSO has a pay structure problem?!? Are you kidding me? Attacked all summer On videos, on the radio, and on facebook. Your boss on the radio in July referred to me as a "Bullshit artist" (used a radio friendly word to say it)--but he has also said I can't read, can't hear, can't find the nose on my face, don't get it, don't know anything, etc. etc. He sent text messages to me that were disrespectful and insulting--and all the while I have requested a personal, sit down face to face meeting so we could discuss these issues. I asked five times in writing and was ignored. Finally, only just a few weeks ago, he agreed to meet and we talked. We got nowhere but at least we got to talk. Here are a couple of things for you to consider Janes. He said to me and in public on a number of occasions throughout this past summer that his men "Went 7 years without a pay raise." Problem is, The ECSO's own data shows that over the last 18 years--pay raises were given in 14 of these 18 years. So what 7 years is he talking about? also, he says pay is the reason everyone is leaving his organization---however I have been contacted, literally, by dozens and dozens of current and former employees of ECSO that say morale is low because of the way the organization is run, and certain employees are getting fat salaries and huge pay increases while others' pay seems to be stagnant. So yes, I requested the W-2 data so that I could compare the salaries listed to the actual compensation earned and to see exactly where the compression is. I see no evidence of compression, and if anything the number of employees moving up in pay is increasing as a percentage of the workforce, while the number of low paid employees is decreasing a percentage of the employees. I don't see the pay compression---but if it did exist-that is up to the sheriff and the PBA to bargain additional steps on the scale--that has nothing to do with the BCC. And to the point about off-duty work: I'm not running down anyone for work they do on the side. I have worked two jobs since college--because it is necessary when just starting out and raising a family. I simply stated that the figures in the chart above do not include income from side work--so in many cases the incomes listed are less than was actually earned. No value judgments there--just a straight fact.

Anonymous said...

Comm Bergosh, you are exactly what Escambia BOCC has been needing. I recognize your sincerity, hard work and efforts. Above all your honesty and courage are notable. I look forward to your time as chairman, there will be critics but you will rise to the occasion. I hope it will be a good year. I've watched your growth, it is inspiring. From the ACLU video with May to your integrity and perseverance with this budget. Even if the BOCC does meet the demand it was imperative the personality and integrity and truth of this current county sheriff administration needed to be challenged and we the citizen expect better in the future. We support law enforcement and county government and expect excellence.

Jeff Bergosh said...

Anonymous--thank you for your kind assessment of my performance thus far. I really appreciate it and I'll continue to do everything I can to make our community the very best it can be going forward for as long as I am in this seat.