The only vision that Speaker DeLeo's plan will instantiate is a world enjoying a downward spiral of inferior jobs, and inferior pay, and inferior benefits (Editorial, Boston Globe, April 21, 2011).
State and local government employees are not overcompensated compared with private sector employees. The perceived differences are due to comparing public sector employees who are mainly in professional jobs with private sector employees who are in entry level jobs.
Compensation is not simply pay, it is also pensions and health-care benefits. In previous contract negotiations, public sector workers gave up larger pay increases in order to purchase health-care and pension benefits. Let us be clear. They (the employees, not the cities, towns, and states) are paying for those benefits with deferred or redirected compensation.
The reason that the citizens of the Commonwealth are balking at the increased costs is that, over the past 25 years, private sector compensation has stagnated (except for the top 1% of the earning population).
Corporations have starved most of us; the motto starve the beast was directed at government but impacted us all. Now they want the public sector to join in the race to the bottom and are using ordinary people, who are struggling to pay their bills, to achieve their goals.
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