Government Unions vs. Taxpayers

Discussion in 'Economics' started by hippie, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. I'm a gov't employee, so lets get a few things straight:

    1) "Federal employees receive an average of $123,049 annually in pay and benefits, twice the average of the private sector"

    WRONG ! Its amazing how so many of you morons believe the media on this absolutely bloated number. Do you really think the average fed employee gets that much in pay and benefits ?

    2) "Unions are not needed in the public sector"

    WRONG ! If you worked in federal law enforcement, you'd know rather quickly how important it is. You are treated like a number rather than a person sometimes, and if you get in a sticky situation, good luck. Unions help to represent you. Add that to the fact that you have high level administration who have never worked in the trenches trying to create policy. You absolutely need a union to keep things in check.

    Is it so bad to have a union that asks for a small 2 or 3% raise every year ? Doubtful. Yah, us feds are so spoiled.

    Lets go back to pay and benefits.

    If you work at the Bureau of Prisons, max non-supervisory pay is $58,000 gs8. At the marshalls, its $64,000 gs9. This is generally obtained after about 15 years of service. Starting pay is $38,000 both places.

    Lets use the BOP as an example. $58,000 base pay. If you work all holidays and evening shift, your pay is now $66,000. Add medical benefits $500 / month, you're at $72,000. Add the 401k match, 2900, you're at $75,000. Thats total pay and benefits.

    Marshalls, just add about $7,000 to that, and thats $82,000 TOTAL pay and benefits after 15 years.

    Obviously there are agencies that make more and make less. But this figure I'm using is about the same for all fed. law enforcement. Some agencies add 25% more to that as they get 25% added to their pay in case they have mandatory OT.

    Now, this is LAW ENFORCEMENT PAY. It is higher than the regular GS schedule. So a GS5 law enforcement makes a lot more than GS5 non-law enforcement.

    And you can bet that the average Fed worker is not a GS13 or higher. As the only way this $123,000 can make sense is if the workers were all GS13. At my place of employment, there's only 7 people out of 350 that are GS13 or higher.

    Now lets discuss defined-benefit plans, ie pensions for gov't workers. How to expect the gov't to keep its employees without a benefit that outweighs the private sector. The gov't DEFINITELY PAYS LESS than the PRIVATE SECTOR. All gov't employees know this. But somehow the media thinks differently. Why shouldn't i seek more income if I can get it in the private sector ? Its simple, gov't pays less b/c they private a pension during retirement. Also, its a statisctical fact that law enforcement officers live on average 15 years less than everyone else b/c of the stress. How will the gov't retain loyal, talented people without good benefits. You'll have crazy turnover !

    Ok thats it for now. I might add more later.
  2. ashatet


    I do not work for the government and I do not envy them. Having said that, the kind of work force that works for the government is very different from the private sector. Most highly qualified people do not join the government sector, as in computing, engineering, research, medicine etc. Also, there is a catch in having a government job, that one becomes quite unqualified for the private sector after having worked in the government sector in most cases. The paper pushers in the city halls who make close to 100K in salary and benefits will not make even half of that if they have to look for a private sector job in most cases. So, the unions in government sector jobs are kind of needed to help protect those jobs. Private sector jobs will continue to be high risk high reward jobs. No one complained about the government sector salary in the 90s when government sector was getting 2% raises and the private sector was getting 10-20% raises annually.

    We need to be fair. I do have to say that the early retirement with 50-75% salary and then joining the same job as a consultant is an abuse of the system and is a disservice to the tax money. There are other issues like this as well that need to be sorted out.

  3. DOn't get that much from pension. After 20 years of service, you get 34% of your salary. each additional year is 1% for law enforcement. Non law enforcement is believe the requirement is 30 years of service, and 34%.

    its impossible to get over 50% of your salary in fed. law enforcement gs scale at retirement as max retirement age is 57, and minimum starting age is 21.
  4. i know all the doctors i know love to see government workers because they have the most cush insurance plans (besides other doctors that is)- benefits are never taken into account when government workers get all huffity-puffity trying to defend their outrageous total compensation packages.

    as was pointed out before- it is the least qualified of the population that goes and works for the government (mainly because they failed to get a private sector job and public work was their fallback [read: only] option) public employees realistically should make about 2/3 what private sector workers do in salary to make up for the better benefits and job security they have. just wait if this downturn lasts another few years it'll break the back of the private sector paying for this- as it already is in many states.
  5. let's see here, you forgot to include paid vacations and pensions.

    and where do you get this idea that health benefits are $500 per month? that's laughable. it's $1500 per month for someone age 40 with a spouse and 2 kids. that goes up exponentially as he gets older.

    add it all up and $123k is in the ball park.

    government employees are overpaid, and to top it off they're unappreciative like you are. you actually have no idea how much your benefits cost taxpayers.
  6. Its not laughable if you're single, as thats what I pay. I admit I should have included family #'s, but i just put what I knew off the top of my head. I just looked at the blue cross blue shield plan for family as we have open season until the end of today. Its about $1,050 total / month for family, so if you want to, you can add another $6000 there.

    I could crunch the pension #'s, but its going to be another $7-$8000 / year max. Not every federal worker falls under the FERS retirement system. Which is what I have, so I can't calculate that. To top it off, not all people will stay 20 years, while all people do get to keep their 401k.

    So go ahead and add another $15,000 if you want. The average is nowhere near $123k. Just another media lie.

    And paid vacations ? I dont count that as federal workers can't get disability pay or maternity leave or anything of that nature. You need to burn your sick and annual leave, or you go on unpaid leave. So you should hoard both sick and annual leave in case something happens. Besides, everyone gets vacation time.

    I supplement my income through daytrading, so really I could careless if our cost of living raise is frozen for 2 years, or if you all are offended by our pay. I expect to make more daytrading this year than working for the gummit. Be jealous, I dont care. thats life, its unfair. Get over it. You want fair ? Be a socialist. I Just dont like the media spreading the lies. There's plenty of studies that show we are infact under paid by 25% compared to private sector.
  7. based on your previous post i think top salary was somewhere around 60k ~ at 33% pension assuming only staying 20 years and leaving that would add an additional 20k / yr from pension alone before adding benefits- now factor in how many people work longer (because most people don't retire at 43 assuming you start your government work after 5 yrs of school) and the average pension is likely closer to 50% of earnings- or adding 30k to the 60k earlier mentioned. although this doesn't factor in how long those pensions last, if you retire at 45 after working 20 years you'll receive your pension for 30 years (assuming live to 75) so that 33% is really more the equivalent of a 50% pension because you receive it longer than you worked- working for 37 years (or until you are 60) and then retiring with a 50% pension you only really receive for 25 years is closer to a 67% pension. so we'll lowball and say 50%+ to your salary is a fair calculation of pension compensation.

    that makes 90k / yr in salary / pension only-

    now factor in the 20k worth of healthcare expenses, and oh yeah you get healthcare coverage when you retire too don't you? so we'll add another at least 10k to that for that. now we'll add in 401k matching and you get another 3k- that brings us all the way to 123k and that is for a NON-supervisory position. amazing how your claim of lies falls apart when you use real math. don't worry i understand why you couldn't do it right yourself- i mean you are a government employee, probably graduated in the bottom third of your class didn't you?
  8. No wrong. Flawed assumptions completely.
    Listen. Pension, this is how it works. We contribute about 1%, or 1/14 of what the gov't contributes. They contribute 13/14's. This means our benefit at that time is close to about 14% added to base salary. $58k + 14% = around $8,000 (off the top of my head).

    I am calculating the value of the pension at this point in time. Not 20 years from now. 20 years from now, that $8k will be worth $20k, get it ? Thats like someone asking me how much a CD I have is worth in the bank. If I originally put in $10k, but I tell the person its worth $11k, thats false, although in 2 years time, that statement will be true.

    So our benefits are not worth $20 or $30k now. they are worth $8,000. Our benefit in the future might be worth that, but with inflation, it will stay around that $8k level.

    Oh, like I said before, maximum pension is 50% of salary. And you are correct, most obviously dont retire at 43. And I already added in 401k.

    I'm not lying. in fact, I think I laid the facts out there pretty well.

    Oh, and we do not qualify for social security, just an FYI. not like we'll get it anyway when i retire, lol.
  9. #10     Dec 13, 2010