Massachusetts state government salary
This page describes the compensation, salaries and benefits that Massachusetts public employees receive from state and local government.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2010, Massachusetts state legislators earned $61,133 per year. As of 2012, legislators also received a per diem that ranged between $10 to $100 per day, depending on the legislator's distance from State House.
State executive salaries
- See also: Compensation of state executive officers
|Office||'10 salary||Current official|
|Lieutenant Governor||$124,920||Timothy Murray|
|Secretary of State||$130,916||William Galvin|
|Attorney General||$133,644||Martha Coakley|
As of 2008, the salary of Massachusetts' governor ranked 16th among U.S. governors' salaries. The average salary earned by U.S. governors was $128,735. The median salary earned by U.S. governors was $129,962.
|Position||'09 salary||Current justice|
|Associate Justice||$151,239||Barbara Lenk|
|Associate Justice||$145,984||Ralph Gants|
|Chief Justice||$145,984||Roderick Ireland|
|Associate Justice||$145,984||Francis Spina|
|Associate Justice||$145,984||Fernande Duffly|
|Associate Justice||$145,984||Robert Cordy|
|Associate Justice||$145,984||Margot Botsford|
As of 2010, the salary of Massachusetts' chief justice ranked 26th among U.S. chief justices' salaries. The average salary earned by U.S. chief justices was $155,230. The median salary earned by U.S. chief justices was $151,284.
As of 2010, the salaries of Massachusetts' associate justices ranked 26th among U.S. associate justices' salaries.The average salary earned by U.S. associate justices was $151,142. The median salary earned by U.S. associate justices was $145,984.
State and local employees
According to 2008 U.S. Census data, the state of Massachusetts and local governments in the state employed a total of 403,808 people. Of those employees, 305,924 were full-time employees receiving net pay of $1,408,423,479 per month and 97,884 were part-time employees paid $121,702,932 per month. More than 54% of those employees, or 221,115 employees, were in education or higher education.
As of 2010, Massport chief Thomas Kinton was one of the highest paid public employees in the state. Kinton earned $312,000 in 2010. At retirement, he was expected to collect $459,616.01 from the state's sick day buy-back program, as well as a pension of about $200,000 per year.
The Massachusetts Teachers Association bargains with local school districts over teacher salaries.
|Beginning Teacher salary||Average salary|
In fiscal year 2009, the state of Massachusetts spent a total of $4.61 billion on teacher salaries. According to state reports, the state had an estimated 68,290 teachers at an average yearly salary of $67,577. Compared to 2008 at an estimated average salary of $64,166, 2009 saw an increase of $3,411. However, the state decreased the number of teachers from 69,331 to 68,290, a loss of about 1,041 teachers. The chart below highlights the average teacher salaries for the state, the total number of teachers and total salary costs to the state for fiscal years 2004 through 2009.
|Fiscal year||Total salaries||Total teachers||Average salaries|
Unions and collective bargaining
Personnel costs, including salaries and benefits, account for 75% of local Massachusetts budgets. The House passed a bill on April 26, 2011, divesting policemen, firefighters, teachers and other municipal employees of their ability to collectively bargain for most health-care benefits. It was expected to save cities and towns an estimated $100 million in FY2012 alone. Democrats, including the Speaker of the House, spearheaded passage of the bill. As of April 29, 2011, the governor had not said whether he would sign the bill.
The State of Massachusetts offers its employees many benefits.
To be eligible for health insurance, employees must work at least 18.75 hours in a 37.5-hour work week or 20 hours in a 40-hour work week. Employees have several different insurance plans from which to choose, including four HMO plans, two PPO plans and a basic plan. Prescription drug benefits are included in each plan.
Dental and vision
The Dental/Vision Program is for state employees who are not covered by collective bargaining or do not have another dental and/or vision plan through the state. The plan primarily covers managers, legislators, legislative staff, and certain executive office staff. Individual coverage costs employees up to $5 per month, and family coverage costs up to $17.68 per month.
All active full-time and half-time state employees who work at least 18.75 hours in a 37.5-hour work week or 20 hours in a 40-hour work week are eligible for LTD benefits. New employees may enroll in LTD without providing evidence of good health within 31 days of hire. Employees who do not smoke pay as little as $0.05 per month for this benefit, and, depending on the employee's age, pay at most $1.30 per month.
The Commonwealth offers $5,000 of basic life Insurance to all active state employees. For basic life insurance, the employee pays $1.71 per month. Supplemental life insurance is also available to employees.
- See also: Massachusetts public pensions
Regular state employees working half-time or more are required to enroll as a member of the State Employees Retirement System, administered by the State Board of Retirement. The date of the employee's hiring and rate of pay determine the percentage rate of bi-weekly retirement deduction, which ranges from 5% to 9% for employees not in the State Police. The Commonwealth does not contribute a specific percentage per employee towards this program; however, the Commonwealth contributes an overall amount annually to the fund needed to cover any unfunded liability.
The deferred compensation plan available to employees is called the Smart Plan. It is a 457 deferred compensation plan that allows employees to make pre-tax contributions. All earnings are tax-deferred. The amounts accumulated on the employee's behalf are distributed at retirement, or due to another qualifying event, such as separation from service or death.
Healthcare spending account
Active employees can pay for out-of-pocket health care expenses on a pre-tax basis, reducing participants' federal and state income taxes.
Dependent care spending account
The Dependent Care Assistance Program allows state employees to pay for certain dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
Employee Assistance Program
Employees can receive help dealing with workplace issues, such as stress management, disruptive workplace behavior and substance abuse, as well as access counseling through the Employee Assistance Program.
Paid time off
Commonwealth employees receive 11 paid holidays per year.
- New Year's Day
- Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Washington's Birthday
- Patriot's Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
- Veteran's Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
Employees earn vacation based on their time of employment.
Number of hours of vacation earned per month
|Years of service||Working 37.5 hrs per week||working 40 hrs per week|
|Less than 4 ½ years||6.25||6.667|
|4 ½ yrs but less than 9 ½ yrs||9.375||10.0|
|9 ½ yrs but less than 19 ½ yrs||12.5||13.333|
|19 ½ yrs or more||15.625||16.667|
After one full calendar month of employment, employees accrue 1.25 sick days for each full month of service, to a total of 15 days per year, which may accumulate indefinitely. Thirty days per year may be used as Family Sick Leave. Part-time employees earn time on a pro-rata basis. Twenty percent (20%) of sick time is paid out upon retirement.
Personal leave Three personal days are awarded the first day of each year for use during the calendar year, and are awarded on a pro-rata basis to part-time employees. Any unused personal time at the end of the year is forfeited.
- Massachusetts State Homepage
- Boston Herald State Salary (dead link)
- Massachusetts 2009 State Employee Payroll, Boston Herald (dead link)
- National Conference of State Legislators 2010 Legislator Compensation Data
- NCSL, 2012 Compensation Data," accessed June12, 2012
- The Council of States Governments The Book of States 2010 Table 4.11
- ‘‘The Council of State Governments,’’ “The Book of the States: 2008” (dead link)
- The National Center for State Courts, "Judicial Salary Resource Center" as of Jan. 1, 2010
- 2008 Massachusetts Public Employment U.S. Census Data
- Boston Herald, Massport chief’s $459G goodbye, Feb. 17, 2011
- Teacher salaries
- Massachusetts Department of Education, "FY04 to FY09 Average Teacher Salaries, Massachusetts Public Schools," accessed May 16, 2010 (timed out)
- The Wall Street Journal "Union Busting, Massachusetts Style" April 29, 2011
- Active Employees Health Plans
- Dental/Vision Plan
- Other Benefit Rates
- Long Term Disability Insurance
- Life insurance
- Plan Rates
- Healthcare Spending Accounts
- Dependent Care Spending Account
- Employee Assistance Program
- Massachusetts Legal Holidays