Mass. auditor to raise salaries of key workers
BOSTON—Massachusetts Auditor Suzanne Bump is raising salaries for her front line and supervisory staff, a move she said will help the office attract and retain more qualified workers and improve her ability to guard against fraud and abuse in state government.
Bump announced the changes as part of an ongoing shake-up of the office since she took over from longtime auditor Joseph DeNucci last year. Bump said about 70 staffers have been let go since then. Others left on their own.
Filling those positions with top line investigators means boosting their pay, according to Bump, who said the increases won't require any additional tax dollars or a bigger budget.
"It's all about making the most effective use of our resources and moving from a system that rewards one for just being in a job for a long time to one that rewards performance," Bump said. "This is about bringing this office into the 20th century."
Before raising the pay, Bump commissioned a report to look at how salaries in the office compared to similar positions in the public and private sectors.
That report -- which cost about $29,400 -- found that in general, workers in the state auditor's office were earning less, Bump said.
"Overall our salaries fall below what would be expected for the office," she said. "Some are above. Some are way below."
She said in some cases the salaries are so low that she's had prospective employees turn down job offers after they've heard how much the jobs pay.
Bump said she's raising the salaries of three key positions: field officer, senior auditor and audit supervisor.
The study found that audit supervisors were being compensated 15.7 percent below the mid-point in the market. The office currently has 28 audit supervisors.
Bump said she'll increase their salaries by 15.7 percent. That translates into an average raise of $9,453, bringing their average salary to $66,917.
The same study found that senior auditors were being paid about 7.6 percent below the market mid-point. There are 24 senior auditors. Bump is increasing their pay by 7.6 percent. That means an average raise of $3,782 for an average annual salary of $53,416.
For field auditors, the report found they were being compensated 12.9 percent below the market mid-point.
Bump said the office hasn't had as much trouble attracting field auditors, who do the work of gathering information for audits, but has had trouble keeping them. She said two field auditors recently left because they found similar audit positions in other state agencies that paid significantly more.
Instead of a full 12.9 percent raise, Bump said she'll boost the pay of field auditors by 7.6 percent. That translates into an average increase of $3,515, for an average salary of $49,892.
Overall, the increases will mean the office will be spending $517,186 more on salaries. The increases will affect 98 people out of an operational staff of 138.
Bump said she'll pay for the increase in part by redirecting money DeNucci had used to supplement the budget of the Bureau of Special Investigation and instead force the bureau to live within its budget.
Bump she doesn't need more money or legislative approval to make the changes. She also said there are no collective bargaining issues.
"It's all about making the most effective use of our resources," she said.