For Immediate Release
Thursday, Feb. 3 2011
CONTACT: David Holtz
Independent study: public employees are undercompensated by 5.3 percent
LANSING – Michigan citizens group, Progress Michigan, today called on Gov. Rick Snyder to protect services for working families and refrain from cutting the public sector after a new independent study showed public employees get less pay and benefits than comparable private sector workers.
“Gov. Rick Snyder has made clear that he will make decisions based on the facts, and the facts show Michigan’s public employees have made sacrifices and continue to make sacrifices to save taxpayer dollars,” said David Holtz, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Michigan’s public employees are among the first to help reform and streamline government so our citizens get good services and value for money. To effectively and fairly fix government, Gov. Snyder must ask everyone to share in the sacrifices, not just state employees.”
The study released today,” Are Michigan Public Employees Overpaid?” by Rutgers University Professor Jeffrey Keefe, weighs a wide range of factors to ensure that the comparison between full-time, year-round public and private sector employees is fair and accurate. Released by the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, Keefe’s study examines key factors such as education, experience, hours of work, organizational size, gender, race, ethnicity, experience, citizenship and disability. (Read more about Keefe’s study.)
Among the study’s findings:
- Full-time state and local employees and school employees are paid LESS than comparable private sector counterparts by 5.3 percent in Michigan.
- College-educated Michigan state and local government and school employees are paid 21 percent LESS than comparable private sector employees.
- Michigan public-sector workers are more highly educated than private-sector workers, with 53 percent of full-time Michigan public-sector workers holding at least a four-year college degree compared to 31 percent of full-time private-sector workers.
“Before Gov. Rick Snyder takes the budget machete to the public workforce, he should look at the facts and consider what kind of Michigan we want in the future,” said Holtz. “The facts are clear: Michigan’s public employees, from road and food safety workers to school staff and teachers to nurses, police and fire fighters are NOT overpaid as some politicians have claimed. Public employees provide vital services that are crucial to Michigan’s future, and further cuts to services and staff will only put that future at risk.”