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Thread: R Public Employees Overpaid - Part II

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    Default R Public Employees Overpaid - Part II

    The previous thread got waylaid quickly but there were some observations posted that I believe invalid. While I have some info on most public professions in this state I am most familiar with education.

    The School District I live in just adopted it's budget for the next year:

    Average salary for certificated staff (meaning those staff member with teaching credentials) is $66,650.
    Average cost of benefits is $25.000 (note this is without the district contributing anything to the employees retirement plan which is all assumed by the state, I believe there is a minimal contribution by the employee)
    Average contractual hours are 69% of an individual receiving 3 weeks vacation in the private sector & 10 days sick leave.
    Educators can retire after 30 years at 60% of their top 2 years salary (which includes just about anything they can get tacked on)

    For this the public generally receives a product that is deficient in math & science (as few are qualified to teach the subjects) in a nation that is falling behind the rest of the world on the curve.
    Educators generally come from the lower 25 percentile of those who take the SAT & graduate from college. As an example: Engineers, Doctors, scientist generally come from the upper 15 percentile of those who take the SAT & graduate from college.

    In reading "A Patriot's History of the United States" there was a comment about the original education money coming from the feds. It was meant to prop up the Science & Engineering communities to keep us competitive in world markets, we see what happened to that . BTW, anyone who hasn't read this book needs to, it is very informative .

    I'd like to hear of others experiences within the public realm!! Facts & numbers please .
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marvin S View Post
    The previous thread got waylaid quickly but there were some observations posted that I believe invalid. While I have some info on most public professions in this state I am most familiar with education.

    The School District I live in just adopted it's budget for the next year:

    Average salary for certificated staff (meaning those staff member with teaching credentials) is $66,650.
    Average cost of benefits is $25.000 (note this is without the district contributing anything to the employees retirement plan which is all assumed by the state, I believe there is a minimal contribution by the employee)
    Average contractual hours are 69% of an individual receiving 3 weeks vacation in the private sector & 10 days sick leave.
    Educators can retire after 30 years at 60% of their top 2 years salary (which includes just about anything they can get tacked on)

    For this the public generally receives a product that is deficient in math & science (as few are qualified to teach the subjects) in a nation that is falling behind the rest of the world on the curve.
    Educators generally come from the lower 25 percentile of those who take the SAT & graduate from college. As an example: Engineers, Doctors, scientist generally come from the upper 15 percentile of those who take the SAT & graduate from college.

    In reading "A Patriot's History of the United States" there was a comment about the original education money coming from the feds. It was meant to prop up the Science & Engineering communities to keep us competitive in world markets, we see what happened to that . BTW, anyone who hasn't read this book needs to, it is very informative .

    I'd like to hear of others experiences within the public realm!! Facts & numbers please .
    I've never worked in the Public Sector so I won't comment on it. But I have worked in the private sector for large corporations most of my adult life. And I can attest that there are MANY people grossly overcompensated in the private sector. There are also many who are under compensated. No system is perfect. I'm sure public positions are no different.

    It has been my experience that except for the very top of the corporate ladder, things have a way of balancing out over time.

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    Senior Member badbullgator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by depittydawg View Post
    I've never worked in the Public Sector so I won't comment on it. But I have worked in the private sector for large corporations most of my adult life. And I can attest that there are MANY people grossly overcompensated in the private sector. There are also many who are under compensated. No system is perfect. I'm sure public positions are no different.

    It has been my experience that except for the very top of the corporate ladder, things have a way of balancing out over time.
    But the private sector is spending THEIR MONEY (most of the time barring bailouts and such) and the public sector is spending OUR MONEY. You (private sector) are free to do what ever you want with YOUR money, over pay, under pay, I don't care it is YOUR money. The private sector only has to answer to its own stake holders. Spending MY money to run YOUR business (public sector) is another matter.
    Views and opinions expressed herein by Badbullgator do not necessarily represent the policies or position of RTF. RTF and all of it's subsidiaries can not be held liable for the off centered humor and politically incorrect comments of the author.
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    Senior Member Terri's Avatar
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    My husband is a Civil Engineer working for our state. His has made less money that Engineers in the private sector and in other public sector jobs. Several years ago the state promised to bring his salary in line with other Engineers who work for cities and counties in our state. It was going to take four years to balance out. A couple years he did get a raise. Then some employees got a raise and he did not because of his classification, supervisor, which he does not supervise anyone he is really a specialist. Only several people in the whole state do the same job as him. His title was supervisor specialist, until his last evaluation when the specialist was dropped. All this to help balance the state books. Now he has three Fridays a month off, 15% pay cut. Civil Engineers who work for our state transportation are Federally funded so it does not affect the state's general funds. Why has he worked for the state for 22 years, if he can make more money in the private? When he started working for the state he was proud to be working for one of the top transportation departments in the world. Now he has put so much time in. At his age it is too risky to start over. Retirement is right around the corner.

    As for as teachers being at the bottom, I'm sure there are many. Our son is going to college to be a teacher, he has always been at the top of his peers in IQ and on the state tests. What will make him a great teacher is not how smart he is, but that he has a real passion for teaching children. He started teaching swim lessons when he was 14 years old. Now he is 21, he is the cities year round pool manager. He is going to school part time to finish his education. He has 40 employees under him and makes under $14 per hour with no benefits.

    The public is getting a bargain and we (parents and son) pay taxes, too.


    Terri

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    Personally I think teachers are way over paid. They have more days off, all summer off and a shorter work day.
    I'm tired of busting my butt to pay for them. By the way my brother is a teacher in the Bronx and teaches ESL. I told him ESL is total BS and taxpayers should not be paying for that crap.
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    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    I think there is a lot of variability. Over time, in most of the country, public employee salaries have increased faster than private sector salaries and public sector benefits have remained much higher than private sector benefits. While 20-30 years ago, public sector employees were grossly underpaid, that is no longer the case. In one school district near me, teachers are involved in a job action after working for a year without s contract. The union proposal would bring the top salary to 110,000/year over the next four years and the average salary to 101,000. This excludes the value of a very generous pension and the value of a luxury health plan with $10/visit co-pays and no employee contributions to premiums. The district's offer is for slightly higher pay levels but with teacher assumption of 18% of health premium costs over the next five years. In my mind, both are out of line.

    I worked in the public sector until 1980, when I moved to the private sector. When I left government I lied about my salary. I told people I was earning less than I actually was so that I would have a better opportunity to get the type of job I wanted and I took a job with a salary cut of 25%. Ultimately, I ended up earning much more in the private sector than I would have in the public sector for a job with less responsibility and an easier schedule. In the public sector I worked an average of 80 hours/week and controlled about $1.5 billion/year with 140 direct staff, for a salary of about $50,000. In the private sector I worked about 60 hours per week, earning many times that amount while controlling a revenue stream of about $10 million/year with less than 100 employees. In my experience, public sector jobs overpay people in the middle relative to comparable private sector positions. People at the highest levels are paid a small fraction of their private sector counterparts, and people at the lower levels are paid less, but with better benefits.
    Last edited by YardleyLabs; 09-17-2010 at 08:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by luvmylabs23139 View Post
    Personally I think teachers are way over paid. They have more days off, all summer off and a shorter work day.
    I'm tired of busting my butt to pay for them. By the way my brother is a teacher in the Bronx and teaches ESL. I told him ESL is total BS and taxpayers should not be paying for that crap.
    Wow, I like most of what you say but teachers are the most over-worked people I know.
    Their day does not stop when the kids go home. Their required continuing education for themselves takes a lot of theirSummer time.

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    This is the salary scale for sullivan county, TN. Try raising a family of four on this, without having to supplement family income during your "vacation" time.

    yrs BS MA MA+45 ED. S ED. D
    0 32,096 35,306 38,515 39,799 41,725
    1 32,481 35,730 38,977 40,277 42,226
    2 32,872 36,158 39,446 40,761 42,733
    3 33,266 36,592 39,920 41,249 43,246
    4 33,665 37,031 40,399 41,745 43,765
    5 34,069 37,476 40,883 42,245 44,290
    6 34,477 37,926 41,374 42,753 44,821
    7 34,892 38,440 41,869 43,266 45,359
    8 35,474 39,160 42,373 43,785 47,198
    9 36,814 40,386 43,960 44,850 47,765
    10 37,255 40,871 44,488 45,388 48,338
    11 37,701 41,362 45,021 45,932 48,938
    12 38,255 41,952 45,561 46,483 49,504
    13 38,954 42,688 46,108 47,041 50,200
    14 40,262 43,732 47,201 47,607 51,240
    15 40,745 44,256 47,767 48,177 51,853
    16 41,235 44,787 48,340 48,756 52,476
    17 41,235 44,787 48,340 48,756 52,476
    18 41,235 44,787 48,340 48,756 52,476
    19 41,396 44,949 48,502 49,083 53,218
    20 41,728 45,335 48,920 49,340 53,351
    21 41,728 45,335 48,920 49,340 53,351
    22 41,728 45,335 48,920 49,340 53,351
    23 41,728 45,335 48,920 49,340 53,351
    24 41,890 45,497 49,082 49,501 53,512
    25 42,229 45,940 49,506 49,932 53,512
    26 42,229 45,940 49,506 49,932 53,512
    27 42,229 45,940 49,506 49,932 53,512
    28 42,229 45,940 49,506 49,932 53,512
    29 42,229 45,940 49,506 49,932 53,512
    30 42,391 46,101 49,669 50,095 53,512
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    Senior Member Terri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    I think there is a lot of variability. Over time, in most of the country, public employee salaries have increased faster than private sector salaries and public sector benefits have remained much higher than private sector benefits. While 20-30 years ago, public sector employees were grossly underpaid, that is no longer the case. In one school district near me, teachers are involved in a job action after working for a year without s contract. The union proposal would bring the top salary to 110,000/year over the next four years and the average salary to 101,000. This excludes the value of a very generous pension and the value of a luxury health plan with $10/visit co-pays and no employee contributions to premiums. The district's offer is for slightly higher pay levels but with teacher assumption of 18% of health premium costs over the next five years. In my mind, both are out of line.

    I worked in the public sector until 1980, when I moved to the private sector. When I left government I lied about my salary. I told people I was earning less than I actually was so that I would have a better opportunity to get the type of job I wanted and I took a job with a salary cut of 25%. Ultimately, I ended up earning much more in the private sector than I would have in the public sector for a job with less responsibility and an easier schedule. In the public sector I worked an average of 80 hours/week and controlled about $1.5 billion/year with 140 direct staff, for a salary of about $50,000. In the private sector I worked about 60 hours per week, earning many times that amount while controlling a revenue stream of about $10 million/year with less than 100 employees. In my experience, public sector jobs overpay people in the middle relative to comparable private sector positions. People at the highest levels are paid a small fraction of their private sector counterparts, and people at the lower levels are paid less, but with better benefits.
    I can not speak for everyone, but I can compare my husband with a masters degree, a seismic specialist, and 22 years makes as an Civil Engineer working for the state with what our daughter's friend makes. Her friend has under fives years, assistant Engineer, and a BS degree. The young guy makes about $15,000.00 less base pay, has the same benefits, and he gets paid for working overtime. He told us that many private firms are paying more and offering better benefits to attract and keep the better Engineers from going to work for the state. He would like to work for the state because the types of jobs you get to do and be involved in are greater than what he gets to do in the private sector. He designs parking lots verses interstates. He just does not want to take a pay cut and with talk of reducing benefits for state employees he doubts he will even try for a state Engineering job now that he has a monthly mortgage payment.


    Terri

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