The public employee benefit structure in Wisconsin has recently gotten a lot of attention. The public unions in Wisconsin have already agreed to increase their pension contributions and their health care contributions, thereby removing the budget-piece of the issue from Gov. Walker’s list of talking points. That, of course, has not satisfied Gov. Walker.
But the issue of public employee compensation and benefits has taken on new life as a result of the Wisconsin battle. The question of whether unionized public employees earn more or less than private employees, accounting for educational level required, is not settled. Evidence is mounting that unionized public employees, at least those whose jobs require higher educational levels of attainment, get paid less than their private sector counterparts. The New York Times and the Economic Policy Institute have both reported this phenomenon.
A new report from the Economic Policy Institute says…
“… the data indicates that state and local government employees in Wisconsin are not overpaid. Comparisons controlling for education, experience, organizational size, gender, race, ethnicity, citizenship, and disability reveal that employees of both state and local governments in Wisconsin earn less than comparable private sector employees. On an annual basis, full-time state and local government employees in Wisconsin are under compensated by 8.2% compared with otherwise similar private sector workers.”
The NY Times also did a lengthy report. Read more.