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Average FPL worker earns more than $90K a year. Average Floridian? About $40K.

by Dara Kam | October 22nd, 2009

Florida Power & Light Co. officials take the stand this morning to defend their proposed $1.2 billion rate hike before the Public Service Commission.

Yesterday, the Juno Beach-based utility knocked off about $53 million – less than 4 percent – from its original rate request.

Testimony yesterday also revealed that the company’s director of compensation had no idea what the average Floridian’s wage is although she’s in charge of ensuring that FPL wages are fair.

That’s not to say Slattery didn’t provide some brilliant answers regarding benchmarks of salaries in the utility industry, on which FPL bases its compensation.

The average annual salary of the utility’s 12,000 workers is more than $90,000 Kathleen Slattery told the panel.

The average Floridian’s wage is about $40,000, something Slattery did not know.

She also was unaware that state workers have not received a pay raise in three years.

But Slattery did tell the panel that FPL workers are scheduled to get between 2.4 percent and 3.4 percent pay hikes over the next two years.

That’s skewed because more than 440 FPL employees pull down more than $165,000.

And FPL and its parent company FPL Group have a dozen executives who earn more than $1 million – and one whose paycheck, including bonuses and fringe benefits, exceeds $10 million.

Today’s hearing started off with questions about FPL’s projected sales for next year.

Things are expected to heat up later today when company officials are grilled about charges that they stacked the deck at customer service hearings earlier this year.

Gov. Charlie Crist is also expected to name a new regulator today to take the place of former Commissioner Katrina McMurrian who quit with three months left in her term after Crist didn’t reappoint her.

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46 Responses to “Average FPL worker earns more than $90K a year. Average Floridian? About $40K.”

  1. General Public Says:

    This is an outrage, when most Floridian struggle to pay even the basic needs in life. Times are tough, FPL needs to get a grip with reality, stop charging astronomical rates for the average Joe.

  2. mike Says:

    They employ a lot of engineers. They should be making at least $90k a year; experienced ones much more.

    ‘Executives’ get paid too much.

  3. 50% pay cuts Says:

    These politicians and idiots are looking for big trouble here with the people at large…

    THIS IS A TIME FOR PAY CUTS and RATE CUTS …NOT INCREASES.

    END THE GREED AT FPL.

    CUT ALL PAY 50%…they will still make more than the average Floridian…

    What is wrong with that?

  4. Rob Says:

    FP&L = F**king People and Loving it

  5. otto Says:

    Those linemen that go out during storms ,rain, hurricanes, deserve every dollar made and more. Our electric rates are cheap compared to other states. In New York an electric bill is more than a car payment.

  6. Jason Says:

    Greed???
    Possibly, however, to fairly determine whether these salaries are excessive we must look the employees salaries compared to similar positions in the government and the private sector. For example, an accountant for FPL may earn 80,000, which clearly is far greater than the 40K an average floridian makes. Yet, that same acccountant might have 10 plus years of expierence and could be making 150K in the private sector. Is that greed? Or is that a fair amount for such a position.

  7. neli Says:

    NYer’s avg. salary is more than twice ours in Fla. Pay me what they get and I’ll agree with a slight increase. Let’s not go crazy.

  8. $40k Says:

    Is this really a fair comparison? I’m sure there are plenty of large companies that have an average salary above the average salary for Florida workers. It’s just the nature of the situation. Yes, exec salaries probably skew that but thankfully FPL is cutting those in half. I make around $40k but I accept that a company average can’t be compared to my salary.

  9. Dan Says:

    What is the “average” FPL workers education? There are thousands who have degrees in Engineering and Buisiness. Does the “average” Floridian have an MBA? It is easy to toss around numbers, but we need to put some thought into it.

  10. stats Says:

    Key sentence:

    “That’s skewed because more than 440 FPL employees pull down more than $165,000.”

    I’m sure that the average of the other 11,560 employees is probably closer to the state average of $40,000.

    More relevant, but probably less sensational data could have been related by informing readers of what the MEDIAN income is for FPL employees. If you tell me the MEDIAN income is $90,000 then I’ll quickly be switching jobs!

  11. Bob Says:

    Simple question. How much does a lineman -the guy that drives the bucket truck- earn per hour? Pay scale range for such an employee should not be a guarded business secret! Also what are the benefits costs. Is FPL guaranteed a certain profit margin no matter what their costs are?

  12. JIm Says:

    You can tell some of these post are FP&L employees, you better start getting scared

  13. Tony Says:

    Well we need to ask should power companies have total control of profits? Sooner or later we as Americans need to address the complex nature off capitalism, freedom and good morals. So don’t grab for your pitchforks and torches quite yet! We need to think about the big picture here in our country. If we didn’t have a free market we would not likely have the quality of unities, transportation, and healthcare we have today. But it is clear we have a disconnect with large companies today and the economy. And we need to address this issue with some type of logic. So that we do not greatly disrupt the balance of a free market and it’s ability to give us advancements to better the quality of life for all.

    And no I do not work for FPL! And I frankly feel the company has no consideration for anyone who can’t gain them greater profit! I feel this way towards most large corporations.

    Tony

  14. Fred Starr Says:

    The linemen deserve every cent they earn. Try working on high voltage lines in nasty weather when one wrong move could end ones life in a millisecond!

  15. mike Says:

    Jim you’re absolutely wrong.

    I do believe, however, what I pay for energy today is actually kinda cheap.

  16. julie Says:

    How is this even relative? Really? These guys that work outside put their lives on the line all the time.
    Next time we have a hurricane and you don’t have power for a week – run this article again. They’re professionals.

  17. Sally Says:

    This is so typical. Everyone gets all crazy about the couple of executives at the top when there are thousands of hard working people who deserve everything they make. The linemen risk their lives and there is a shortage of nuclear engineering experts. Of course they make more than the average person. I can’t believe people would even question that.

  18. Julie Says:

    I find it absurd that they are planning raises when state workers have been going without for years. The non-executive salaries might be justified, but the raises are not.

  19. Jaywilk Says:

    This is what free society and capitalism is all about. We don’t look out for those who are less fortunate or who have lost their jobs, homes or their livelihood. FPL and their cousins only look out for themselves. FPL is supposed to be a regulted monopoly but the regulators continue to set themselves up for lucrative job opportunities and could care less about you, me or those like us. I’m glad Jesus Christ is walking the earth now in human form.

  20. LicensedToSteal Says:

    This is to ensure they have and retain the best utility workers, plummers, custodians, programmers, executives, secretaries, lawyers, politicians, PSC etc. If they are buying everyone, then who can be against them? Well, those that have to pay for their salaries and bribes. I suppose if everyone made $90,000 per year, we would not mind paying FPLron’s rates. Nuff said.

  21. Christine Says:

    It was shocking to read that the company’s director of compensation had no idea what the average Floridian’s wage is.

    I am not a FPL employee but I wanted to post that I am happy these people make a good salary.
    I bet most of the people that posted in anger would give anything to make a salary like this.

    In Florida a good wage is very difficult to obtain unless you work for the Federal Government or have a successful business of your own.

    I am happy to see a decent salary paid for a hard days work. For me I have grown tired of reading on the pathetic low income jobs.
    It is nice to see a company doing well and SHARING that around with the lower people on the ladder.
    How many times do we have to read of the MILLIONS Of dollars that the executives make in huge companies while their lower employees make horrid wages?

    I highly doubt that FPL is going to cut our bills and take half of the employees salaries away.
    So saying that:

    People learn to cut you own bill down by being frugal with your energy costs.
    I have a four bedroom home with pool and my the largest power bill I had this entire year was two hundred and twenty one ( had company visiting that don’t conserve energy)

    I run my pool for four hours a day, I set my a/c at 78 and LEAVE IT.
    I don’t have ceiling fans running in rooms that I am not in.
    I don’t have every light burning and I use energy efficient light bulbs. I don’t run a half full dryer.
    Cut you own usage and see your bill get cut.

    Here is a history of my power bills.

    Date Amount Description
    10/03/2009 $173.47 Payment
    09/03/2009 $190.32 Payment
    08/10/2009 $172.26 Payment
    07/07/2009 $221.72 Payment
    06/23/2009 $119.90 Payment
    05/06/2009 $95.72 Payment

  22. Bill Thoman Says:

    That is becuase they deserve these salaries becuase their revenue stream comes from the public, just like public employees that are paid with tax dollars. This is why FPL needs a large increase in electric rates. These poor employees need an increase!!!!

  23. wheres my donation Says:

    salaries at FPL should be LOWER becausof the benefits and job security (when was the last time an employye feard of loosing his job there ?)

    Japan and the socailist economies of the world gave employment for life in exchange for lower salaries.
    ====
    cut pay by 50% for everyone above 50k per year and I GUARANTEE YOU no one will walk away from their cushy job at FP&L even at that lower salary……
    ======

  24. fpl contractor Says:

    has anyone taken the time to think where our energy comes from and how difficult it is to operate the plants that produce it?

    you people who think FPL employees make to much make me sick. the people who work for FPL if anything should be given more money for what they go through to keep you people out of the dark!

    and how many of these people in florida are qualified to operate a nuclear power plant? do the people who operate these nuke plants deserve a pay cut also? you want to complain? complain to the president that you liberal fools elected. if he had kept his promise and gave utility companies money for new plants, they wouldnt have to charge the public for them. this country’s nuclear fleet is OVER 30 years old! one of our cleanest, cheapest and most efficient sources of energy and the plants are falling apart! and you people want to complain.. sad. it could be so much worse.

  25. Former FPL Employee Says:

    As a former FPL employee I can tell you there is a lot of fat to be cut at FPL. They have so many people there that do nothing it really isn’t funny.

    I would also be interested as to what the stats are for their “contract” employees. Most people don’t know it but a lot of “FPL” employees are actually hired through a firm called Bartech(started by ex-FPL employees who were laid off in the mid 80′s and the only company FPL uses for hiring contract employees. Can you say kick back to someone?)

    The contract employees make even more than the actual people who work directly for FPL. I have also sat in meetings where it was decided to give money away to contractors so that a project did not come in under budget and someone looked bad.

    Do some more digging and you will see how wasteful they really are with the money they have.

  26. WarrenA Says:

    Here’s my concern FPL is a monopoly no choices to chose from. If there were choices rates and fee would be curbed, however we can’t be upset with the employees because this country teaches if you educate yourself or your a loyal employee you’ll be rewared hard work. Bring choice and rates will go down, I do realize it a little to late for choice.

  27. Louie Says:

    Here’s the PBP’s thoughts…

    The Police and the FFer’s make too much.
    Teachers make too much.
    Doctors amake too much.
    Lawyers ( the lawsuit ones ) make too much.
    Etc, etc…
    If you’re going to keep this Fascist type of mindset going on, at least read the poem “First They Came”, written by a German pastor who survived Dachau.

    Eventually you enable the Fascist system so firmly, that when you find yourself a hostage to it, there’s no one to help you.
    You guys went to Journalism school ?
    Where ? Cuba, Venezuela, East Germany ?

  28. lets see a walmart worker Says:

    transfer his skills to run a nuclear power plant..

  29. Wendy Franklin Says:

    Maybe some of the field workers deserve their pay for the dangerous situations they face. In NY the bills are higher but people get paid more in NY. I only make $20,000. and cannot afford my $280. bill. Capitalism is alive & well why do you think you can’t get good health coverage. Maybe if our Education system wasn’t so lousy we would have more qualified people with MBA’s etc.

  30. starbucks baristas Says:

    deserve to make as much as somebody with a Phd in Nuclear Engineering and an MBA because they are soooo in demand

  31. all demanding draconian pay cuts Says:

    do you think FPL employees will stay? no.. they will go to georgia, texas, ny.. they will move… FPL’s reliability will suffer and your rates will eventually go up anyways… you have to pay for quality

  32. conservist Says:

    i make over 80k a year and my electricity bill is under 90 dollars a month. why? because 1) i live well within my means and 2) i educated myself on energy conservation.

    i feel no pity for people who cant even afford to own a house large enough to generate a $300 electricity bill, yet still manage to to run up the bill and have the audacity to blame utility company’s.

  33. FPL Family Member Says:

    Apples to oranges, anyone? How about we compare the “average Floridian’s” salary to the ones at Lockheed Martin? It makes just about as much sense. This article is meant to be sensational, of course, because everyone hates FPL and paying their power bills. But it is a flimsy and poorly thought-out attack with severely skewed numbers. There are so many other things you could have used against FPL, why go after the everyday workers?
    Please enlighten me on what the “average Floridian” does for a living, anyway? I’m pretty sure it doesn’t involve hazard pay.
    (Yes, I am a family member of a lineman, who risks his life to keep your A/C running and your food from melting. How’d you guess?)

  34. Jerry Says:

    Can we compare average Floridian’s salary to Miami Dolphins and Heat?

  35. Strikeout Says:

    I would expect this kind of overly sensational disconnected argument from a high-school newspaper. The headline has no foundation or purpose other than to influence the uneducated, or the ones who don’t read past the first paragraph. I usually don’t like to attack journalists, being a J-School grad myself, but this is 100% grade-A pure BS.
    We get it, FPL is evil. They charge too much. Blah Blah Blah. Regardless, the majority of their jobs are in a high-tech or hazardous sector. So.. this has absolutely nothing to do with the salaries of average Floridians.

    Swing-and-a-miss.

  36. Hobo Says:

    I think you all make too much.

    HOBO RIGHTS now!!
    HOBO RIGHTS now!!
    HOBO RIGHTS now!!

  37. hmmm Says:

    What the Post fails to mention, is that of the 12,000 FPL employees, nearly 7,000 are union employees. Union employees make lots of overtime, likely included in the salary numbers. Maybe if they used non-union labor or quit paying overtime, the salary costs would come down.

  38. Dave Says:

    I work for FPL. I have for twenty-two years. I have been trained for my work skills for more than six years of that time. Every five weeks I take a written and practical exam to prove that I am still qualified to do my job. If I fail I may lose my job with FPL. I work twelve hours a day often seventy-two hours a week. I work days, nights, weekends, holidays and kids birthdays, often without notice. If there is a hurricane I have to work, leaving my family home without me during the storm. I have to pass an annual physical, random drug and alcohol tests. They also run my credit history and investigate my background every five years. I work hard, and put up with alot for my ninety thousand dollar a year job. Don’t be to quick to say I’m overpaid. It’s easy to say FPLers are overpaid without knowing the facts…. When you flip the light switch and thay come on know that someone from FPL is there doing their job.

  39. Manny Says:

    The utility industry needs tighter regulation. I am a lineman and i can tell you the executive class at FPL is highly overpaid. They are great at the arts of manipulation. With a guaranteed profit there is no good explanation for the kind of compensation they get paid. The majority of employees at FPL are not in the dangerous field that have to work on high voltage. The company is short 300 to 400 employees in the lineman class and they do not care because they can force you to work 16 hours a day. It also saves them money in wages and benefits to keep the company understaffed. As far as pay raises go at FPL there has not been one pay raise in 10 years that does not get eaten up by higher health care premiums. Reason being we are self insured and have a workforce that is up in age that needs new young blood. The older you are the more you use health care. Does FPL deserve more money from the consumer HELL no! They need to be broken up and the monopoly ended. They have violated the public trust in more ways than the public will ever know! The company is basically a get rich vehicle for the top management. Do not believe their numbers.Why do you need jetys and helicopters to get to work to run a utility. FPL is not Microsoft it is not a company that inovates or brings anything new to the economy. The wind turbines are subsidized by the federal goverment to the point the FPL is making huge amounts of money off the taxpayers.If it was not for those (PTC)THAT SUBSIDIZE the wind farms they would not build one wind turbine.Do the top managers at Electric Co -ops thru out the state make the kind of money FPL execs do? It is the same 120 year old business. Get a grip and protect the public from these sharks PSC!!!

  40. Manny Says:

    Oh I forgot i do not Know were (hmmm Says): Got the information about the number of union employees but you are dead wrong. There is 3200 union employees working at power plants and transmission and distribution Substation, meters and so on. That is 3200 people serving 4.5 million customers. The other 8 thousand or more are in management or in office jobs. Twenty years ago there was 40 % more working in the union trades to keep your lights on , now we are older and more tired because of the forced workload FPL management places on us. They continue to add layers of management that I feel is not needed. A previous CEO Broadhead cut management layers but we are right back at being fat and happy at the top at a cost to the customer. The union side is still lean and working their hardest for the customer. Manny

  41. Thomas Saporito Says:

    Makes you wonder just how much, if any, FPL testimony is truthful? Help me cleanup the mess and corruption in Florida – visit http://www.governorsaporito.com and download a voter petition to have my name placed on the election ballot for change!

    Thank you!
    Thomas Saporito

  42. Jamie Moyer Says:

    I think the FPL workers deserve the pay that they are making. FPL wants quality workers and I have no problem paying for that in my untility bill. That what capitalism is alll about. Getting paid top dollar for your skills.

  43. FPL employee Says:

    I personally have observed the total mismanagement at West Palm Service Center for one. The only people I know of that earn that kind of money are Supervision/Engineers. They need an efficiency expert to discretely go thru that office for one & observe supervisors delegate while they sleep on the job. They could easily cut management by 50% and hire more field personnel to replace them, who are the real competent workers that deserve every penny they earn & more. They know their jobs and don’t need to be supervised by people that don’t know their jobs & earning top dollar. Too much waste of dollars at the top & not enough interest in handling customer service, field personnel & other employees. Too many obstacles placed on field personnel obtaining tools they need for their jobs.

  44. FPL employee Says:

    Seems like Jim is another one of the many at FPL that uses employee scare tactics & harrassment, which appears to be the norm there?

    The smart employees are the ones that cannot be intimidated because they simply do not entirely depend on the company to eat.

  45. Lineman Says:

    I will be HAPPY to switch jobs with you. Do you want to grab 13,000 volts in your Hands & do work with it. I don’t hear you complaining when a storm comes and your lights are out For days about how much money I make A year.All you want is your lights back on as fast as possible.

    Thanks, A Lineman

  46. carmen Says:

    You see the people working at the poles are not getting paid as much as the people sitting in the office and working from home and getting paid over 100,000 dollars a year. My sister in law is one of those. She works from home because she has kids and she takes about 2 month vacation a year and gets paid over 100,000 dollars.What we need is another company to compete with fpl and bring our prices down.

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