When wages and benefits are combined, federal civilian workers averaged $119,982 in 2008, DOUBLE the $59,909 earned by private sector employees. Ten years ago the disparity was 66%; it is now 100% and growing.
The vast majority of public sector workers have guaranteed taxpayer-funded pension plans that allow them to retire 10-25 years earlier with benefits many times the retirement payout that Social Security (broke and NOT guaranteed) might provide to private sector workers.
The prevalence of “spiking,” or boosting pension benefits via final work year salary abuse (e.g. preferential overtime allocations, final year promotions, cashing in unused sick and vacation days) is rampant in the public sector.
In San Francisco, over half the police and firefighters retiring in the last decade have received pensions in excess of the wages they received while actively working.
In New York, a Long Island Rail Road inspector padded his $71,000 salary with $165,000 in overtime and $41,000 in payouts of unused sick and vacation time, retiring with a pension of more than $121,000 annually.
The states of California and Illinois,and the city of San Diego, to name a few, teeter on the brink of bankruptcy. 48 states in the Union have 2010 deficits.
Vallejo, California went bankrupt as the city spent 74 percent of its operating budget on police and firefighters salaries, pensions, and overtime.
In Clark County, Nevada (home to Las Vegas), officials spend $1.2 billion of the general funds $1.5 billion budget on public workers’ wages and benefits.