a new study by Cal Berkeley's Institute for Research on Labor and Employeement concludes that State workers are NOT overpaid in comparison to private sector employees. Read the study here: http://economy.ocregister.com/files/2010/10/Public-v.-private-compensaiton.pdf
according to this study, State worker with Master's degree such as myself are paid on average 28% less (including all benefits) when compared to private employeement. The study takes into account level of education and experience, important distinctions since the public sector are generally more educated and older.
i've been hearing a lot of anti public worker sentiments from friends about the "unsustainable" pension and "overpaid" public employees these days in this recession. I believe the real issue for the public workers is not that their wages and benefits are too high. Rather, everyone else's have fallen. The public employees have not suffered as greatly in this Great Recession as most other Americans. (I could debate that further with my 2 years of 15% paycut due to furloughs) And since our wages come from taxes, there is resentment by the private sector.
resentment of a workforce that lost less than others and is now somehow privileged is misguided. Americans should be focused on the deregulated, globalized finance industry and its stooges in Washington that caused this recession in the first place. But it is much easier to resent civil servants than to do something about Wallstreet and their reckless pay and fraud or why half of the fortune 500 companies pay little to no taxes, so they resent the water department clerk down the street who still has health insurance and retirement.
This misdirection is what our privileged class counts on to maintain its privilege.