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Wisconsin Public Workers UNDERPAID By 4.8% - 8.2%

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Wisconsin unions, Governor Walker, dishonesty, deficits, economy, republicans, propaganda, unions )

- 1251 days ago -
Gov. Walker is wants changes in collective bargaining laws and major benefits reductions of public employee unions as the antidote to alleged overpayment. However, the data indicates that state and local government employees in Wisconsin are not overpaid

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Marti Williams (170)
Sunday February 20, 2011, 5:32 pm
Thanks Norm...the corporate hogs and their government flunkies want to go back to the days of the robber barons and their ilk.

Kit B. (277)
Sunday February 20, 2011, 5:59 pm

Well, at least the Robber Baron's did some things for the greater good. Even their homes were built with the idea they would become museums and they are. Today's mega-rich are not building museums or libraries, they are selfish and greedy.

This is a good article that again highlights just how much Walker is full of crap. It just goes to show if you can sell it there are some that will buy it.

Esther Z. (101)
Monday February 21, 2011, 6:37 am
Days of the robber barons? Is that what they meant about "taking our country back"?

Penelope P. (222)
Monday February 21, 2011, 9:49 am
The real worry is the revamping of labor laws and the scrapping of Unions- This will make it even easier to cut down the cost of employing by terminating everyone in reach and could be the thin edge of the wedge for selling off schools and hospitals ,and historic government buildings and privatising everything in sight.

Heidi D. (24)
Monday February 21, 2011, 10:04 am
Oh please. No one at the public trough is underpaid.

Mary and Joe M. (29)
Monday February 21, 2011, 12:36 pm
I've just contributed to ACTBLUE - $14 for 14 Democratic representatives that walked out. If you find you can spare it, it would show a solidarity ($1 for each of the 14 representatives is not much). Even Senator Schumer in the State of NY is backing the unions in Wisconsin. He just sent me an e-mail on it.
To Heidi D: read this link:

EXCERPT I started here: (copy/pasted)......

"However, the data indicates that state and local government employees in Wisconsin are not overpaid.......

.....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 undercompensated by 8.2% compared with otherwise similar private sector workers. This compensation disadvantage is smaller but still significant when hours worked are factored in. Full-time public employees work fewer annual hours, particularly employees with bachelor’s, master’s, and professional degrees (because many are teachers or university professors).
When comparisons are made controlling for the difference in annual hours worked, full-time state and local government employees are undercompensated by 4.8%, compared with otherwise similar private sector workers. To summarize, our study shows that Wisconsin public employees earn 4.8% less in total compensation per hour than comparable full-time employees in Wisconsin’s private sector..................................."

Dave C. (213)
Monday February 21, 2011, 1:26 pm
in response to "no one at the public trough is underpaid" --- I would say 'NO ONE AT THE PUBLIC TROUGH IS GETTING RICH" --- in addition to this article research has shown the discrepancy between rich and poor getting increasingly wide in this country.
Public employees are often people who chose to work "for the public" - "for the good of all" --- while private employees can do this, too, we all benefit from the work of public employees....
Where are all the jobs being created by tax breaks????

Sherry D. (47)
Monday February 21, 2011, 1:39 pm
Gop lies again. Fight em!!!!!!

Yvonne White (231)
Monday February 21, 2011, 1:44 pm
"The demonizing of public employees is not only based on the lie that they've caused these budget crises, but it's also premised on a second lie: that public employees earn more than private-sector workers. They don't, when you take account of their education. In fact over the last fifteen years the pay of public-sector workers, including teachers, has dropped relative to private-sector employees with the same level of education - even including health and retirement benefits. Moreover, most public employees don't have generous pensions. After a career with annual pay averaging less than $45,000, the typical newly-retired public employee receives a pension of $19,000 a year." I just got Healthcare this year (approved by IL Gov. Rod Blagojavich in 2008) after 14 yrs. without any. My union, SEIU, was attacked repeatedly before, during, & after the 2008 elections.


Mary and Joe M. (29)
Monday February 21, 2011, 1:52 pm
People often think that government workers get paid well. We are retired now 10 years but had to move away from our location because of the high high taxes on Long Island.

Wayne W. (12)
Monday February 21, 2011, 2:06 pm
Public workers are twice as likely as private sector workers to have a college degree. Adjusted for education, public workers make 4% less than those in the private sector. The average pension for public sector workers is $22,000, about $8000/yr over the poverty threshold for a retired couple.

Mac R. (289)
Monday February 21, 2011, 2:11 pm
Heidi D, the point made was that they are making less for their work than those in the private sector while these republiscum keep yelling that they are making way more than the private sector, which is in general a big damn lie. But you bought into that lie as your comment shows. That is why articles like this are being posted. Did you even read it? Obviously not or you wouldn't have made such a dismissive and wrong statement. Educate yourself by actually reading the article so you don't continue to make stupid statements like that about all those dedicated hard working Americans who teach your children, save your life, care for your family and make the things you take for granted work.

patricia lasek (317)
Monday February 21, 2011, 4:32 pm
Heidi, why are you speaking out against the workers so badly?

From Alernet's article, "WI Governor's Fake Budget Crisis: Gave Tax Breaks to Wal-Mart to Further Real Agenda -- Union Busting" reprinted from the Daily Kos:

"So, what's in the bill? Prohibition of any unions or collective bargaining for most state workers. Those that continue to have any union representation at all will be limited to bargaining for wages only which will have a mandatory limit which will be set annually by the State Legislature. So, basically, the boss will tell you how much you are permitted to ask for.

No collective bargaining over insurance (so employees can be given high deductible junk insurance with no say in the matter), benefits, pensions, holidays or personal days, vacation, working conditions, adequate staffing, class size, worker safety issues, mandatory overtime, shift selection, requests for days off, etc.

If that wasn't bad enough, union dues would no longer be collected through payroll deduction so the unions would have to collect the dues themselves member by member. On top of that, unions would need to recertify every year . This is the same process that is used when employees band together to form a union in the first place; a process already so onerous and difficult (therefore, profitable to the many union-busting firms across this country) that new unions and locals are rarely formed.

Think that's bad? The real hidden horror is that Scott Walker didn't stop with state employees, but extended the impact of the bill to all city, town, village, and county employee in the State of Wisconsin. That's the real reason that thousands of public employees are in Madison. It's why non-public employee unions are supporting us. It's why students, patients, and citizens in general have joined us."


Roger Skinner (14)
Monday February 21, 2011, 5:14 pm
Gov. Walker, the GOP and many right-wing talk show hosts, keep saying this is all about the money, balancing the budget, bringing public employee benefits in line with the public sector. What a crock of BS! This is really about politics and busting unions that generally back democrats. Funny that they are letting the unions that generally back the GOP keep their collective bargaining rights. Why is that? The unions say they are willing to give concessions but the governor is adamant that they give up their collective bargaining rights. What else does the little guy have going for him? Corporate management gets to negotiate million dollar salaries and sweet golden parachutes that pay them millions more whether they do any good for the company or not, but the little guy is lucky to have a union back him/her up.

I kept hearing that the Wisconsin public employees don't pay as much as private sector or other public sector employees towards their health or retirement benefits, so Gov. Walker wanted them to pay more. That is basically asking them to take a pay cut. Benefits are just as important as an employee's take-home paycheck. They make it sound like health, retirement or other benefits (say, paid vacation, sick days?) are just something extra that the employers out of the goodness of their hearts are giving employees. This article shows that while Wisconsin public employees may pay less for health & retirement benefits, they are actually being paid less than the public sector overall.

John S. (297)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 2:25 pm
Did anyone read the report? For example: “Although some nonwage benefits are more generous in the public sector, it is a serious error to imagine that comparability requires that each and every element of compensation is the same. What is important is that considering both the cost of employer-provided nonwage benefits and direct wages, public sector workers in Wisconsin earn less in annual or hourly compensation than they would earn in the private sector.”

This matters for public-sector defined-benefit pensions, which use much more optimistic investment return assumptions than private pensions (a 7.8 percent assumed return in the Wisconsin Retirement System, versus around a 4 percent riskless return in U.S. Treasury securities) and fund their benefits accordingly. Most economists think public pensions are wrong to make these assumptions, but what matters is that employees effectively receive those higher returns whether the investments pan out or not. Adjusting for the differences in implicit returns to pensions would increase total Wisconsin compensation by around 4 percent.

The EPI study also omits the value of retiree health benefits, which most public workers receive but most private employees don’t. (Some very large firms still offer retiree health benefits, but they’re increasingly rare and increasingly stingy.) The value of retiree healthcare can vary significantly. For instance, most run-of-the-mill Wisconsin state retirees are offered the right to buy into the employee plan. This provides an implicit subsidy, since they’re buying at rates calculated for the working-age population rather than their own health risk. The value of this is equal to a percent or so of extra pay every year. Other employees, such as Milwaukee teachers, have almost all their premiums paid for them. Actuarial reports list these protections as costing over 17 percent of salaries, meaning that for these workers EPI’s approach would miss a lot of benefit income.

Norm C. (74)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 5:39 pm
So, John, because the private sector has decimated their workers' pension benefits, the public sector should, too? Because the oligarchs got their lapdogs to create the non-pension (the 401(k)) and have replaced pensions with these barely walking dead "retirement plans" in the private sector, the public sector must turn just as selfish, mean and disgusting?

The ignorance is astonishing!

Joshua I. (6)
Tuesday February 22, 2011, 8:53 pm
You Don't Have To Suffer If You Do This....
Governor Walker Has Committed a crime to attempt to eliminate Union Bargaining Rights, when he threatened to call the National Guard.
18 USCA 245(a)(1)(2)(C)(b)(5) declares as follows:
Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, by force or threat of force willfully ***, intimidates or interferes with, or attempts to ***, intimidate or interfere with--
(a)(1) any person because he is ***, or in order to intimidate such person or any other person or any class of persons from—
(2)(C) *** enjoying employment, or any perquisite thereof, by any private employer or any agency of any State or subdivision thereof, or joining or using the services or advantages of any labor organization, hiring hall, or employment agency;
(b)(5) any citizen *** without discrimination on account of race, color, religion or national origin, in any of the benefits or activities described in subparagraphs (1)(A) through (1)(E) or subparagraphs (2)(A) through (2)(F), or participating lawfully in speech or peaceful assembly opposing any denial of the opportunity to so participate –
shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed, *** or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed ***
What Are You Waiting For, ARREST Gov. Walker


Lika S. (130)
Tuesday March 1, 2011, 3:38 am
Noted and shared on my local newspaper online, here in Wisconsin. Thanks.
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