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Are Ohio Public Employees Over-compensated?

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Politics Are Ohio Public Employees Over-compensated?

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  • #427568

    cbennie
    Member

    Apparently not many here understand basic economics. Not intended as an insult, just an observation. Prevailing wages rates are affected by many factors but chief among them is [b]productivity[/b]. The more productive Workforce A is relative to Workforce B in competing markets, the higher the wages for workforce A, generally speaking. And those speaking about China and India have no idea what you are talking about.

    The problem with public labor is that there is generally no reason to become more productive. Yes, you may want to be more productive to keep your job but apart from this, there is no “cost of production” advantage gained for the “company” in the marketplace via higher productivity. So you can’t really compare private wages with public sector ones. At least in a semi-capitalistic economy like ours.

    The real question should be: should that job exist as a public sector job to begin with?

    #427569

    coolbuckeye
    Participant

    What job? Teacher? Fire Fighter? Police? Should we privatize elections officials? What about public health employees? Do you want a private company inspecting your food and water? Who do you think would be more efficient and take less risk with your social security dollars? The public sector or the private?

    #427570

    Parker
    Participant

    gramarye wrote >>

    chaptal wrote >>

    gramarye wrote >>
    We do need good people in public service. And, indeed, in most cases, we have them. I think that that will remain the case because the goal here is not to force public sector employees to accept compensation well below private market level; it is to get it down to par with the private sector, when you count in all the various benefits of both (including what are often significantly better retirement benefits in the public sector). I agree with the poster above that the relevant metric has to be the total life-of-employee cost of hiring someone, not just the base pay they get every other week.

    Instead of working to reduce the wage of the public worker, what is wrong with raising the wage of the private worker?

    How exactly do you propose to do that? If you’re talking about legislation to try to force private employers to pay more, then the same thing is wrong with that that is wrong with all other regulations that increase the cost of hiring workers: if you make it more expensive to hire workers one through four, then worker number five is likely never to be hired. Worker number four might also be fired if the new legislatively-enforced higher wage is more than the work that worker performs is worth.
    Parker wrote:

    I agree very much. But that is an inherent problem in the way many leaders of our private sector think today. “More work for less pay”, or increasing worker efficiency ratios is the mantra, backed by the conflicting mantra of “you have to pay for good talent”, which unfortunately failed in many sectors in 2008.

    So you would prefer the goal shift to “more pay for less work?” That does indeed appear to be the position of many unions, public and private, which is one reason that their image has suffered so much and why so many private employers have shuttered so many union workplaces over the years and shifted to places with less stifling labor and employment laws.
    And you do indeed have to pay for good talent, and the events of 2008 showed that many firms, especially in the financial sector, were paying too much for not enough talent. That itself isn’t a problem; the problem was that those firms were insulated from the consequences of their actions, which should have forced many more of them into bankruptcy (and, likely, liquidation) than actually happened. Because of government intervention, they were able to avoid the fate of those employers who continued to pay too much for union workers for far too long while other companies enjoyed the competitive benefits of paying more market-level wages for labor: Delphi, Dana, and many other manufacturers have been in bankruptcy court in the past decade. The principle is the same, though, even if the government chooses to short-circuit it by putting the taxpayer on the hook for the losses rather than the company alone and its shareholders and creditors: if you pay too much and produce too little, you simply don’t succeed. Thus “more work for less pay” is indeed the most productive principle on which to operate an economy. It’s why China and India have made such massive strides in the past two decades (the past four, for China).

    Let’s not jump to the absurd. The alternative to “more work less pay” is not necessarily its opposite. How about fair pay for productive work? Or equitable pay for the same work? Some of the more effective company negotiators call it parity. Public sector folks aren’t advocating equal pay for equal work with their private sector peers but they are asking for equity in their compensation, that they be fairly compensated. That’s fair pay and something that is negotiated (unless we want to give up on the idea of a middle class and its benefits because that is the incentive structure in a nutshell and it does work for public employees).

    If we want services that are good, then we need to be willing to pay for them. Privatization of public goods does not work well – see privatization of public water in other countries, Enron in CA, check you gas bill (PUCO regulated) this winter and compare it to the private sector scammers who come door to door with their contracts that are $0.20/ccf higher. For profit colleges have much lower graduation and post-graduation hiring rates. Charter schools don’t perform as well as their peers, with some exceptions. Sorry, this is going a bit off topic.

    I’ll agree that the lines get crossed when you try to pay for good talent. In fact, some of the investigations have shown that it wasn’t just overpaying for bad talent, but we also now know the incentive structure pushed toward error.

    As for Delphi and others having trouble with their unions. My father negotiated with the unions for “the company”. From his experience and others he knew in the same capacity, the problem was not the wages of the employees, it was health care. Many managers know that health care is a killer for US businesses that must compete with foreign businesses whose home nations either subsidize or provide health care. Or, the company does not have legacy costs because they have not been operating in the US for three or more generations. We can’t oversimplify this as a union/wage issue.

    #427571

    DavidF
    Participant

    It’s all race to the bottom rhetoric. The logic is simply this, does everyone suffer somewhat, or do we stick it to the working class so the CEO’s, bankers, and Govt. execs can continue to increase their standard of living.

    Kasich has already shown that by increasing the pay for his top people while trying to strip collective bargaining rights from those lazy policemen, fire fighters and teachers.

    #427572

    Parker
    Participant

    DavidF wrote >>
    It’s all race to the bottom rhetoric. The logic is simply this, does everyone suffer somewhat, or do we stick it to the working class so the CEO’s, bankers, and Govt. execs can continue to increase their standard of living.
    Kasich has already shown that by increasing the pay for his top people while trying to strip collective bargaining rights from those lazy policemen, fire fighters and teachers.

    That!

    #427573

    Mr. Wiggles
    Member

    As a public employee of nearly 20 years, although happy to have my job, I’d say I’m hardly living the life of luxury off the taxpayers. I drive a used ’91 Toyota, live in a modest 2 bedroom home, which I would never be able to own if it wasn’t for my wife, and work a part time job. College educated as well. I can’t remember the last raise I got. Did take some pay cuts however. So until you home school your children, provide your own water, haul your trash to the dump and promise never to call anyone to help if your car gets broken in to or house is on fire, please show some respect to people who do a lot of things for you.

    #427574

    Antonio
    Member

    Mr. Wiggles wrote >>
    As a public employee of nearly 20 years, although happy to have my job, I’d say I’m hardly living the life of luxury off the taxpayers. I drive a used ’91 Toyota, live in a modest 2 bedroom home, which I would never be able to own if it wasn’t for my wife, and work a part time job. College educated as well. I can’t remember the last raise I got. Did take some pay cuts however. So until you home school your children, provide your own water, haul your trash to the dump and promise never to call anyone to help if your car gets broken in to or house is on fire, please show some respect to people who do a lot of things for you.

    It was your choice to work in the public sector wasn’t it ?

    Or did someone put a gun to your head and force you to do it ?

    #427575

    chaptal
    Participant

    Antonio wrote >>

    Mr. Wiggles wrote >>
    As a public employee of nearly 20 years, although happy to have my job, I’d say I’m hardly living the life of luxury off the taxpayers. I drive a used ’91 Toyota, live in a modest 2 bedroom home, which I would never be able to own if it wasn’t for my wife, and work a part time job. College educated as well. I can’t remember the last raise I got. Did take some pay cuts however. So until you home school your children, provide your own water, haul your trash to the dump and promise never to call anyone to help if your car gets broken in to or house is on fire, please show some respect to people who do a lot of things for you.

    It was your choice to work in the public sector wasn’t it ?
    Or did someone put a gun to your head and force you to do it ?

    Yes and no to the exaggerated hyperbole.

    #427576

    Antonio
    Member

    People in the publice sector were never promised lifetime employment as a condition to work there.

    401K’s must replace pensioins which are bankrupting cities and states. No retirement until 65, you can change positions, but no retirement.

    Want healthcare benefits, you’re going to need to pay more.

    The gravy train is over, get used to it.

    #427577

    chaptal
    Participant

    Antonio wrote >>
    People in the publice sector were never promised lifetime employment as a condition to work there.
    401K’s must replace pensioins which are bankrupting cities and states. No retirement until 65, you can change positions, but no retirement.
    Want healtcare benefits, you’re going to need to pay more.
    The gravy train is over, get used to it.

    It’s not only about money, but about the complete loss of collective bargaining. I’m willing to pay more but not to lose any voice or recourse to averse conditions. There’s not much compromise or reason going on.

    The reason the pensions are benkrupting cities and states is partly because their funds are tied to the stock market. Are you blaming the public workers for that?

    You work weekends?

    #427578

    Antonio
    Member

    What averse conditions ?

    OSHA related or a nasty boss that needs a dead animal sent to them.

    A multitude of reasons are causing Pension funds to BK states and communities. People retiring earlier, gaming the system and people living substatially longer. The only way to payfor it to to place chips on the table in the Wall Street Game.

    States and communities simply can not afford the madness anymore.

    GM and Chrysler went down the toilet because of it and they could borrow money.

    Yes I work weekends. ( Saturday )

    chaptal wrote >>

    Antonio wrote >>
    People in the publice sector were never promised lifetime employment as a condition to work there.
    401K’s must replace pensioins which are bankrupting cities and states. No retirement until 65, you can change positions, but no retirement.
    Want healtcare benefits, you’re going to need to pay more.
    The gravy train is over, get used to it.

    It’s not only about money, but about the complete loss of collective bargaining. I’m willing to pay more but not to lose any voice or recourse to averse conditions. There’s not much compromise or reason going on.
    The reason the pensions are benkrupting cities and states is partly because their funds are tied to the stock market. Are you blaming the public workers for that?
    You work weekends?

    #427579

    chaptal
    Participant

    Why not both a nasty boss and OSHA related conditions. Why does it have to be either/or? Why not add nepotism and discrimination?

    Sorry, not going to suck it up without a bit of a fight. People died for the so-called 40 hour week. I’ll admit to instances of corruption among union leaders who make six figures but there are plenty of worshiped private executives who make seven and eight figures while exporting jobs and paying workers a meager wage.

    It’s a beautiful world. Too bad many have forgotten how to share.

    Antonio wrote >>
    What averse conditions ?
    OSHA related or a nasty boss that needs a dead animal sent to them.
    Yes I work weekends. ( Saturday )

    chaptal wrote >>

    Antonio wrote >>
    People in the publice sector were never promised lifetime employment as a condition to work there.
    401K’s must replace pensioins which are bankrupting cities and states. No retirement until 65, you can change positions, but no retirement.
    Want healtcare benefits, you’re going to need to pay more.
    The gravy train is over, get used to it.

    It’s not only about money, but about the complete loss of collective bargaining. I’m willing to pay more but not to lose any voice or recourse to averse conditions. There’s not much compromise or reason going on.
    The reason the pensions are benkrupting cities and states is partly because their funds are tied to the stock market. Are you blaming the public workers for that?
    You work weekends?

    #427580

    Antonio
    Member

    Except you are fighting the taxpayers of Ohio.

    FDR, probably the most liberal of all Presidents ever said no to public employee union way back in the 1937.

    http://www2.hernandotoday.com/content/2010/oct/17/ha-fdrs-warning-public-employee-unions-a-no-no/

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/worth-recalling-fdr-was-no-fan-public-employee-unions

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=15445

    chaptal wrote >>
    Why not both a nasty boss and OSHA related conditions. Why does it have to be either/or? Why not add nepotism and discrimination?
    Sorry, not going to suck it up without a bit of a fight. People died for the so-called 40 hour week. I’ll admit to instances of corruption among union leaders who make six figures but there are plenty of worshiped private executives who make seven and eight figures while exporting jobs and paying workers a meager wage.
    It’s a beautiful world. Too bad many have forgotten how to share.

    Antonio wrote >>
    What averse conditions ?
    OSHA related or a nasty boss that needs a dead animal sent to them.
    Yes I work weekends. ( Saturday )

    chaptal wrote >>

    Antonio wrote >>
    People in the publice sector were never promised lifetime employment as a condition to work there.
    401K’s must replace pensioins which are bankrupting cities and states. No retirement until 65, you can change positions, but no retirement.
    Want healtcare benefits, you’re going to need to pay more.
    The gravy train is over, get used to it.

    It’s not only about money, but about the complete loss of collective bargaining. I’m willing to pay more but not to lose any voice or recourse to averse conditions. There’s not much compromise or reason going on.
    The reason the pensions are benkrupting cities and states is partly because their funds are tied to the stock market. Are you blaming the public workers for that?
    You work weekends?

    #427581

    cbennie
    Member

    I thought unions existed to bargain with evil, capitalist pig, private business owners. Why do public employees need a union? To be protected from… the public?

    #427582

    coolbuckeye
    Participant

    Do you speak for the “public” cbennie/Antonio? I’m not union but I still support someone who is putting in an honest day’s work.

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