12 Dec (AHRP) – Bloomberg News conducted a data review of payroll records for 1.4 million public employees of the 12 largest states. The findings show that public employees in California earn far higher salaries than in other states, from prison operations to health care, base salary to overtime. The first, of a six-part series, America’s Great Payroll Giveaway, focuses on “a bidding war” that has catapulted prison psychiatrists to astronomical wage earners!
Bloomberg reports that according to the data,
“Psychiatric compensation stands out: last year, 16 California psychiatrists made more than $400,000, while only one did in the other 11 most- populous states. Last year, 93 California psychiatrists made more than $300,000, a level matched by only 12 in the other states, according to the data.”
A 2006 lawsuit about abominable prison conditions resulted in court-ordered salary increases for prison psychiatrists, which, due to mismanagement, resulted in many psychiatrists leaving their positions at state hospitals for higher paying prison jobs.
Example: “Mohammad Safi, a graduate of a medical school in Afghanistan, began working as a psychiatrist at a California mental hospital in 2006, making $90,682 in his first six months. Last year, he took home $822,302, all of it paid by taxpayers.”
Example: Husband-and-wife psychiatrists Joginder Singh and Mohinder Kaur earned a total of $4.7 million from 2005 through 2011, according to California payroll data. In an interview outside his Coalinga home, Singh said he retired from a mental hospital in Napa in 2006, and returned the next year to Coalinga State Hospital, where he was appointed medical director, for the higher pay after the court intervened.
“When the pay scales went up, that’s when I joined as medical director,” Singh said. “If you join the job again, and work for at least three years, then you are entitled to an enhanced pension.”
In 2006, Singh earned a base salary of $145,965. In 2008, his first full year back, his base was $270,258, an 85 percent jump. Kaur, who also retired in 2006 and then went to work at Coalinga in 2007, saw her base pay almost double, to $252,796 from 2006 to 2008, state records show.
Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean at the Yale University School of Management and founder of a training institute for chief executive officers, said:
“The jockeying between agencies for the same doctors demonstrates a payroll system run amok and chronic mismanagement. Even though this all took place in California, such apparent recklessness is almost too over the top for Hollywood,” Sonnenfeld said. “These irresponsible public officials have artificially constrained the market with an unnaturally limited supply pool, either due to laziness, incompetence, corruption or all of the above.”
Another data review should focus on what percentage of these states’ healthcare expenditure is spent on psychotropic drugs? The clinical value of most psychotropic drugs is questionable, whereas their adverse side effects continue to cause serious medical diseases whose treatment to counteract the ill effects of psychotropic drugs most often results in very costly combined drug cocktails, significantly inflating state expenditures.
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