Are Wisconsin Public Employees Over-Compensated?

by run 75441

Are Wisconsin Public Employees Over-Compensated?

Conclusion: Wisconsin public employees are not overpaid: The earnings equation estimates indicate that state and local government employees in Wisconsin are not overpaid. Rather, local and state public employees are undercompensated. When we make comparisons controlling for education, experience, hours of work, organizational size, gender, race, ethnicity, citizenship, and disability, both state and local public employees earn lower wages and receive less in compensation (including all benefits) than comparable private sector employees.

A standard earnings equation produces what some may consider a surprising result: full-time state and local employees are undercompensated by 8.2%. We observed, however, that public employees work fewer hours, particularly employees with bachelor’s, master’s, and professional degrees. An earnings equation controlling for work hours of full-time employees demonstrates that Wisconsin public employees earn 4.8% less than comparable private sector workers working comparable annual hours. EPI

WI public employees are underpaid by ~4.8% when compared to the private sector. Knight at Naked Capitaism kept insisting the bill would not remove collective bargaining. Technically, he is correct.

Who the bill impacts and how it impacts them:

“General municipal, county, and school employees (except police and fire), and school boards and local governmental units may only bargain over “total base wages.” Health insurance, pension, vacation, holidays, hours of work and any other conditions of employment (promotions, evaluations, safety, grievance/arbitration procedures and just cause standards for discipline) will be prohibited subjects of bargaining.” PROPOSED CHANGES TO MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEE BARGAINING RIGHTS MUNICIPAL EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS ACT UNDER CH. 111.70 [MERA]

The police and Fire Departments supported Walker so they are not subject to this bill.

Unions did offer up concessions:

“This afternoon, Marty Beil, executive director of the Wisconsin Public Workers Union, sent a message to the Governor’s office agreeing to the cuts to pension & welfare benefits sought by Walker in his bill. The governor’s response was “nothing doing.” He wants the whole kit and kaboodle – the end of the collective bargaining rights of the public unions.” Koch Brothers Behind Wisconsin Effort To Kill Public Unions, Forbes Magazine