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As part of our efforts on government transparency, we obtained data on the compensation of most public employees in the state. This information has been used to fact check claims about salaries, verify data from other open records requests, and hold government spending accountable.

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Federal employees in Michigan have seen their total compensation (salary plus benefits) increase 36.3 percent this century.

In 2001, federal employees here had an average total compensation of $81,326 (adjusted for inflation). Total compensation increased to $110,837 in 2017.

A New York Times story published on April 22 story suggesting that public servants were losing their foothold in the middle class.

… more

For the Record

Michigan news media rarely challenge union assertions that school funding has been cut in Michigan. … more
Government employees in this country — at the local, state and federal level, as well as school and state university employees — have not suffered economically in this century. … more
State Sen. Coleman Young II, D-Detroit, claimed in an April 17 op-ed published by the Traverse City Record-Eagle that more people in Michigan have fallen into poverty during the tenure of Gov. Rick Snyder. … more
One state report said Michigan's golf courses use 7.6 billion gallons of water a year. Nestle will use as much as 210 million gallons a year. Where's the outrage about golf courses? … more
Michigan Sen. David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights, snarked on Twitter recently about a bill that makes it a little easier for people to earn money by shampooing hair. … more
A recent story in The Atlantic magazine about private versus public schools used examples from Michigan to illustrate some of its arguments, but was significantly out of date. … more
When it comes to Michigan's poor performance on standardized tests, perhaps more money isn't the solution. … more
A Utica Community Schools board member says the current way the state funds schools is broken. … more
An AFSCME union laywer made a quip about public sector salaries. Richard Trumka, the president of the national AFSCME, had his total compensation in 2017 increase to $315,368, a 7 percent raise from 2016. … more
The Center For Michigan's Truth Squad said it was hard to determine if the DeVos family profits from their involvement with a charter school. The Truth Squad failed to mention the DeVos family would be breaking the law if they did. … more