Friday, June 17, 2011

Compensation Conundrum

Rene Booker received a payout of $52,000 "for a mere 4 1/2 weeks of work," squawks the Journal Sentinel. As usual, devoid of any context or perspective. Because a 26-year veteran of public service took advantage of a negotiated perk (which should be considered deferred compensation), the Journal feels all public employee compensation elements (sick leave, vacation, etc.) should be restricted.

Booker's payment amounts to an $1,558 average bonus, per year, for 26 years of service. A paltry sum compared to private sector golden parachutes and their ludicrously lavish retirement packages. And, many of these same private sector companies, guilty of such profligate spending on compensation, are companies on the public dole in one fashion or another - receiving tax credits, subsidies, loan-interest loans, and other gifts and giveaways from taxpayers.

The Journal claims these proposals (further cuts to public worker compensation) would bring public worker policies "into line with what is common practice on the private sector."

Which private sector workers do they want the public sector workers' compensation packages to be more like? The CEOs? Upper management? Or should college educated public workers (60% have a college degree; only 30% of private sector workers have a college degree) compensation packages be more like burger-flippers? Roughly half of Wisconsin teachers have a masters degree or better? Should they be compensated along the lines of a window washer? Do those whom call for the public sector to be more like the private sector realize part of the private sector is still unionized? (Sadly, only approximately 7 percent.)

When compared for education and experience, public sector workers already earn less than their private sector counterparts. The overcompensated public employee is a MYTH! Let me repeat that - the overcompensated public employee is a MYTH!

What we are witnessing is a willing-accomplice media rewrite history on behalf of financiers and creditors, at the expense of the American middle class and in opposition to the American Dream.

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