10 Facts to Win Every Argument on … the Evils of Public Sector Unions
Posted on February 27 2011 1:00 pm
5. Public sector employees are making 45% more than you are. Is that right?
You may love your kid’s teacher. You may even have a favorite postal worker, or (although this is hard to believe) someone at the DMV you like. But do these people deserve to make an average of 45% more than people teaching private school, or delivering packages for UPS, or pushing paper inside some insurance company office? Well, are private school teachers doing a 45% worse job than public teachers? Does UPS do a 45% worse job than the Post Office? Is your insurance company receptionist 45% less surly than the lady at the DMV? I think we all know the answers to all of those questions, don’t we? So why do these public employees get the gold-plated treatment? Listen to Linda Chavez again:
“Public employees pay less for their health care and receive far more generous pensions, often without making contributions to them. Teachers, who are among the most heavily unionized public employees, also have tenure rights — which make it difficult, if not impossible, to remove incompetent or underperforming teachers.”
Ah, yes. Linda brings up an important point, which we will return to a little later. For now, let’s look at a few numbers in more detail, courtesy of the Department of Labor, via Carol Platt Leibau:
“…when it comes to hourly wages, the average in the private sector is $19.68 per hour; for workers in state and local government, it’s $26.25. While 74% of private-industry workers receive paid sick leave and 8 paid holidays per year, 98% of state and local government workers have paid sick leave, along with 11 paid holidays yearly. And 99% of government workers have retirement benefits (with the same percentage enjoying medical benefits), compared to 74% and 86% respectively of private sector employees. Finally, in the private sector, an average of 20% of medical premiums are paid by employees, while state and local government workers pay only 11% on average. By almost any measure, it pays to work for the government – subsidized by taxpayer money and unconstrained by the economic discipline imposed on the private sector by the need to compete — rather than as a taxpaying employee in a private enterprise.”
Working for the government used to be called public service. It can no longer be referred to as such, under these outrageous circumstances.
Side note: This undue burden on private business is a huge part of the reason are economy is in the tank. Why should business have to compete for workers with an indulgent Uncle Sam (or state or local governments)?