Thursday, February 10, 2011

Amid Proposals to Attack State Employees, Non-Partisan Study Finds Wisconsin Public Employees are Undercompensated

(Milwaukee, Wis.) – The Economic Policy Institute, a non-partisan think tank, has released the results of a vigorous study that compares the compensation of Wisconsin public employees to the compensation of Wisconsin private sector employees and finds that – despite pervasive myths to the contrary – Wisconsin’s public employees are in fact undercompensated.  This simple “apples to apples” study controls for education, years of experience, gender, race, citizenship and organizational size. 

“Public employees – such as firefighters, teachers and nurses – provide quality services that protect and enrich Wisconsin’s families, for less than their private sector counterparts,” said Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO.  “Unfortunately, politicians’ attacks on public service workers not only hurt the middle class – they hurt the children and families that depend on these vital public services.”

According to the report done by University of Rutgers Professor Jeffrey H. Keefe, the annual wages of public sector employees are 14.2 percent lower than wages for comparable workers in the private sector.  Even when benefits, such as health care and pension plans are also considered, total public employee annual compensation is still 8.2 percent lower than their private sector counterparts. 

“Wisconsin public service employees take great pride in the services they provide that keep Wisconsin’s families safe and our economy working,” said Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO.  “We want to work with the governor to find balanced solutions that will create jobs and protect – not attack – the middle class.”

The complete report from researcher Jeffrey H. Keefe is available at the Economic Policy Institute’s website:

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