The Contra Costa County Schools Insurance Group has the 414th highest average employee salary among the 1,508 special districts listed in a new public pay study.
The state Controller's Office has put the 2011 salary and benefits information on a website. It details city, county and special district payrolls.
The average salary for special districts across California was $54,468 a year. The average salary for the schools insurance group is $40,727.
The district officially has 60 employees, but 23 of those are unpaid board members or executive committee members (including Sheri Gamba of the West Contra Costa Unified School District board of directors, who is one of the CCSIG's board members).
Without those unpaid workers, the district's average salary is about $66,000 a year.
Here's an overview of some of those numbers.2011 Salary Study Schools Insurance Group
Special Districts Employees 60 67 (average) Average Salary $40,727 $54,468 Total Wages $2.4 million
Here's the top 10 wage earners in the Contra Costa Schools Insurance Group for 2011. The employees are listed by position only.
The salaries include regular pay, overtime, lump sums and other payments. The benefits and pension are what the district contributed to the employee's plan.Employee Salary Benefits Pension Executive Director $164,181 $16,124 $0 Claims Manager
$120,736 $1,717 $0 Chief Finance Officer $99,126 $546 $0 Human Resources Manager $96,745 $6,115 $0 Senior Claims Examiner $92,565 $546 $0 Senior Claims Examiner $90,902 $1,113 $0 Claims Supervisor $88,289 $546 $0 Information Systems Coordinator $88,251 $113 $0 Senior Claims Examiner $87,056 $13,853 $0 Senior Claims Examiner $86,625 $17,673 $0
The agency is a joint powers authority formed in 1977 for self-insuring workers' compensation as well as health and safety services to 19 Contra Costa schools districts, the county Office of Education and a community college district.
The agency oversees the programs for 20,000 employees and more than $913 million in payroll. That translates into about $21 million in workers' compensation premiums a year.
The agency's board is made up of representatives from the school districts.
Joe Emmett, the agency's chief finance officer, said the CCCSIG saves its members money in various ways.
First, the authority is able to purchase workers' compensation insurance at a lower rate because the districts are pooling their money.
The agency can also use their own financial resources to handle claims up to $750,000.
The authority also has a staff that handles the claims rather than each district hiring someone to do that or paying an insurance company to do it. In the 2011-2012 school year, the CCCSIG handled 819 new claims. That's in addition to the 1,200 ongoing claims from previous years.
The new claims were down from 872 the year before and 911 in the 2009-2010 year.
The agency also has four health and safety specialists who visit districts and teach employee safe on-the-job habits.
There is also a strength tester who measures prospective employees' physical condition before they are hired for more labor-intensive positions such as custodian. About 9 percent of applicants fail this test.
Emmett said this screening reduces future workers' comp claims.
"Prevention is the most cost-effective thing we can do," said Emmett.