Monday, February 23, 2009

In a downturn, government salaries on the rise


In Olentangy, district employees are on schedule to receive another 6.5% average salary increase next school year. The nonproductive sector of the economy is sucking more and more life from the American dream.

(Note: In Ohio, it looks as though the salaries of state government workers are going to take a hit.)

HT to Jeffrey Tucker over at

From Forbes:

In private-sector America your job, assuming you still have one, hangs on the fate of the economy. If your employer ever offered a pension for life, like young officer Goss is receiving, odds are it has stopped doing so, or soon will. Those retirement accounts you scrimped and saved to assemble? Unless they are invested in Treasurys, they aren't doing too well. In private-sector America the math leads to the grim prospect of working longer and living poorer.

In public-sector America things just get better and better. The common presumption is that public servants forgo high wages in exchange for safe jobs and benefits. The reality is they get all three. State and local government workers get paid an average of $25.30 an hour, which is 33% higher than the private sector's $19, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Throw in pensions and other benefits and the gap widens to 42%.

For New York City's 281,000 employees, average compensation has risen 63% since 2000 to $107,000 a year. New Jersey teaching veterans receive $80,000 to $100,000 for ten months' work. In California prison guards can sock away $300,000 a year with overtime pay.

Four in five public-sector workers have lifetime pensions, versus only one in five in the private sector. The difference shifts huge risks from government to private-sector workers.

NYC socked away $20,000 per employee last year for pension benefits. Since 2000 its pension funding bill has risen ninefold, from $615 million to $5.6 billion in 2008. That's more than the city spends on transport, health care, parks, libraries, museums and City University of New York combined, says the Citizens Budget Commission.

These benefits are so sacrosanct, and such a source of union power, that labor bosses have turned them into the third rail for NYC politicians--touching them is suicide. That goes for the benefits not only of existing workers but of future ones as well.


Anonymous said...

What else would one expect when big money dilberts like Dimon McFerson have overtaken the school board. To people like him the cost of a school levy is a mere pitence. To others it means the difference between staying in one's house and foreclosure.To the administrators and teachers it is a gravy train.

Anonymous said...

The district is like a snow globe. You can take it out at tax time; when you receive your notice of no bonus or a pink slip; when you have to tell your kids that they can't play sports this year because of the new levy (that we didn't need); when you're packing up your house because you can no longer afford to live here, etc. and it's Christmas in there. It's Christmas every day in a snow globe--shiny and happy, with snow playfully falling upon smiling, plastic figurines--just like we see at Central Office.

You see, it's Christmas every day at Olentangy; completely insulated from the real world, with a shiny-new million dollar superintendent and "Executive Directors" of this and that who stand to make $160,000 total compensation for doing very little--and getting additional compensation to play in the snow, no less.

From now on I'm going to refer to the district as "the snow globe".

Anonymous said...

It must feel like Christmas every day to Olentangy's growing population of rehired retirees; an incentive that is apparently enough to counteract a snow birds' instinct to migrate south. This practice, although legal, begs a discussion of whether it's ethical.