2016 CATA Salaries

February 14, 2017




In January 2017, I sent CATA a FOIA request:

I would like the following information on all CATA employees who had earnings in 2016:




Position/job title

Union affiliation

Salary/hourly rate

Date hired

Date terminated

Breakdown of 2016 earnings by category

Final leave payment (for terminations)

Total earnings for 2016


I would like digital files only. If the information can only be provided in multiple files, please include a common field such as name or employee number.

I didn't get digital files, but did get most of the information I requested. The letter I received in response is here and the 2016 salary information is here, just as provided by CATA - in a PDF file. The problem with a PDF file is that it ordinarily cannot be altered or manipulated, as with a Word or Excel file. However, Adobe Acrobat Reader - the software used to read PDF files - now has a feature which allows you to convert a PDF file to Excel. With Excel, you can do calculations.


The file provided by CATA provided salary for salaried employees and hourly rate for hourly employee. It also provided total earnings for 2016. With the file converted to Excel, I was able to calculate the amount by which total 2016 earnings exceeded salary, or in the case of hourly employees, the amount by which 2016 earnings exceeded hourly rate multiplied by 2080, which is 40 hours per week times 52 weeks per year. Since CATA didn't give us a breakdown of 2016 earnings by category (as requested), we must assume the excess is overtime. The following 3 lists are sorted by the amount by which total earnings exceeded salary (or annualized hourly pay rate)

Salaried employees

Operators (bus drivers)

Other hourly employees

Excess overtime has been an issue in the past. Michigan Capitol Confidential, a publication of the Mackinac Center, reported in November, 2010 that a CATA bus driver earned over $140,000 in 2009 by working an average of 42 hours a week overtime. The Lansing State Journal followed with this article dated December 12, 2010: