T Nation

How About Cutting Federal Pay?

"By 2008, however, the total cost per civilian employee in the U.S. federal government had risen to $119,932, compared to $59,909 in the private sector. There can be no justification for paying federal employees twice the average private sector wage; the private sector, after all, has to pay the costs of employing all these overstuffed bureaucrats.

Even in state and local government, there is now a premium for wage costs over the private sector, though state-and-local government employees are, on average, less well- qualified than their private-sector counterparts.

There are some outrageous examples of feather bedding. Consider, for instance, the near-bankrupt state of California, which allows a worker to retire at 50 with an annual pension payout equal to 3% of salary for each year of service. In other words, a person who joined that state’s workers ranks at 20 can retire at 50 on 90% of salary - indexed to inflation with full healthcare benefits, of course

And last year - in the depths of a horrid recession, and with states forced to make draconian cutbacks to balance their budgets - the remuneration of state-and-local-government employees increased 2.4%, double the 1.2% increase seen in the private sector.

Cutting federal employees back just to their 1998 levels in terms of what the rest of us earn would involve a 15% pay cut. That’s a bit more than the 10% cut imposed by Chamberlain, but is certainly justified.

Based on 2008 figures, which must surely be conservative for 2010, given the recent growth in government, such a reduction would save $116 billion a year. That’s the equivalent of about $1.3 trillion between now and 2020, a 10-year stretch that represents the normal budgetary horizon.

That doesn’t eliminate the U.S. deficit problem, but it certainly makes a decent hole in it."

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article17479.html

Instead of bitching about cutting the pay of some poor schlep of a teacher, who gets the supreme joy of dealing with your teenagers all day, how about cutting these people?

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
Instead of bitching about cutting the pay of some poor schlep of a teacher, who gets the supreme joy of dealing with your teenagers all day, how about cutting these people?
[/quote]

If the American people put their minds to it, theres no reason they can’t accomplish both those things at the same time.

How about just firing all of them? And then, we’ll hire back the ones we actually need to do whatever job that actually needs to be done. Prolly we’ll end up with about 5% of the current federal workforce.

That ought to do it.

I’m all for it I see no reason a senator in the fed government needs to make over 150K/year (without benefits added in).

I just tried to look up and see what the major government makes here in colorado and the web page no longer works (it was on the Denver Post website).

this is a very underlooked issue. Federal pay and benefits are absurd compared to private sector for similar jobs.

For those who oppose this idea, take a look at Greece. 1/3 of the countries population works for the government, and it went bankrupt. It’s allowed debt is nearly 4 times what is allowed within the EU.

Having worked in the private sector prior to joining the Govt as a Federal employee, I can tell you that the “Benefits” are not as great as some people make it out to be. I pay MUCH more for health insurance out-of-pocket than I used to working for a corporation. The TSP, which is the 401(k) equivalent, does not have nearly the flexibility nor choices to that of private counterparts. And of course, there is no such thing as a guaranteed bonus (although there can be performance awards which may have modest $ attached).

I can’t speak for the rest of the country, but here in NJ I can make more $$ working in private industry, but chose Federal employment mainly due to job security. The one other good thing is the pension, but it is only 1% for every year of service, not 3% like CA (as the OP mentioned).

Maybe it depends on what you do… but the one i interviewd for started at like a GS-9 45kish…and every year or two you were bumped up till like GS 12-13 at 75-80k automatically. Granted in DC that isnt as much as elsewhere but still…

The AFL-CIO union disagrees with this thread.

Its true we are overpaid. I work for the Fed, and I can say I am overpaid. I work 3 to 6hrs a day get full benefits and get paid well over 45k a year. We have a strong union, I do not have to do anything else besides what is in my job description.

I work a max of 30 hrs a week, its sad, but I do work my ass off and I help the other folks. The problem I see is the lazy ass MF who takes advantage of rules when they see fit. In my own defense I took the job because it was to good to pass, may I note I also have a second job.

To note I only pay 160 a month for full medical for a family of 6. I suggest a freeze on raises for all gov. employees along with less union control of the system.

[quote]SteelyD wrote:
The AFL-CIO union disagrees with this thread.[/quote]

Says who?

[quote]lanchefan1 wrote:

[quote]SteelyD wrote:
The AFL-CIO union disagrees with this thread.[/quote]

Says who?[/quote]

Says me. When’s the last time the AFL-CIO said “You know, federal employee wages are just too danged high. They get paid too much. We’re going to lobby for lower wages more compatible with the private sector”…?

Sorry if I missed that somewhere. My bad.

[quote]SteelyD wrote:

[quote]lanchefan1 wrote:

[quote]SteelyD wrote:
The AFL-CIO union disagrees with this thread.[/quote]

Says who?[/quote]

Says me. When’s the last time the AFL-CIO said “You know, federal employee wages are just too danged high. They get paid too much. We’re going to lobby for lower wages more compatible with the private sector”…?

Sorry if I missed that somewhere. My bad.[/quote]

Well thank you Steely I’m so glad I’ve got you to speak for me.

[quote]up1bin wrote:
I can’t speak for the rest of the country, but here in NJ I can make more $$ working in private industry, but chose Federal employment mainly due to job security. [/quote]

Why is your job ‘secure’?

[quote]lanchefan1 wrote:

[quote]SteelyD wrote:

[quote]lanchefan1 wrote:

[quote]SteelyD wrote:
The AFL-CIO union disagrees with this thread.[/quote]

Says who?[/quote]

Says me. When’s the last time the AFL-CIO said “You know, federal employee wages are just too danged high. They get paid too much. We’re going to lobby for lower wages more compatible with the private sector”…?

Sorry if I missed that somewhere. My bad.[/quote]

Well thank you Steely I’m so glad I’ve got you to speak for me.[/quote]

So, that’s a “never”, then?

Would you have been offended if I said “AFGE” (American Federation of Government Employees), instead?

Ow Ow Ow my head hurts already.

Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul!

John Galt?

The problem is that the assumption is being made that just because I’m a member of the IAFF that I fully support everything the AFL-CIO does. I’ve got news for ya, a lot of us don’t agree with the upper leadership of the AFL-CIO.

So you know what I’ll humor you, you are right!! The AFL-CIO main has never lobbied for lowering of wages, but you know what there are alot of us out here that aren’t getting rich just because we belong to a union.

But when you are talking about people being overpaid in the government I think you need to start towards the top.

Congress for example in 2006 worked…

Are you ready?..

103 days!!! and made $165K ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME! Not to mention all the really cushy bene’s and expenses paid trips!!

And here is the link I took the info from. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,286235,00.html

lanchefan - FWIW, I agree with you. Yes, and I know a lot of union members don’t agree with ‘leadership’.

And for the record, I would pay firefighters, like, a million dollars or something. Really.

A family member of mine works in diplomatic security and makes 140k a year.

[quote]SteelyD wrote:
lanchefan - FWIW, I agree with you. Yes, and I know a lot of union members don’t agree with ‘leadership’.

And for the record, I would pay firefighters, like, a million dollars or something. Really.[/quote]

Thanks Steely, but if I was in this for the money I would be in the wrong profession.

One major problem is people hear “Union” and automatically think of the big ones (UAW, NEA, AFL-CIO). But most smaller locals that deal with smaller governments actually try to do what’s right (I’m speaking here in my area of the country and what I’ve seen).

I’ll use mine for an example. Goal #1 for us in negotiations last year was keep all line employees on the job (no layoffs). Goal #2 control health care increase, we did a fairly good job we split the increase with the district. Goal #3 Raises, this part didn’t happen and you know what all of us knew it wouldn’t.

But since we were able to achieve goal #1 without giving back money, time or employees we are pretty happy. On top of that we are getting to hire 5-6 new FF’s to reduce OT and backfill retirements.