Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Comparative wages for public and private sector employees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default Comparative wages for public and private sector employees

    An article in the 1/2/2011 Boston Globe on public sector pensions had this to say about comparative wages for public and private sector employees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Powell of the Boston Globe
    A raft of recent studies found that public salaries, even with benefits included, are equivalent to or lag slightly behind those of private sector workers. The Manhattan Institute, which is not terribly sympathetic to unions, studied New Jersey and concluded that teachers earned wages roughly comparable to what people in the private sector with a similar education earned.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    More on this topic, this time from Robert Reich:

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Reich
    Matched by education, public sector workers actually earn less than their private-sector counterparts. ... [O]nly 23 percent of private-sector employees have college degrees; 48 percent of government workers do. Teachers, social workers, public lawyers ..., government accountants ...all need at least four years of college.

    Compare apples to apples and and you’d see that over the last fifteen years the pay of public sector workers has dropped relative to private-sector employees with the same level of education. ... (Even if you include health and retirement benefits, government employees still earn less than their private-sector counterparts with similar educations.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    27

    Default

    I agree that on the basis of the education, the public sector salaries are comparable or lower to private sector workers. However these studies also have to consider the following:

    a. Public Sector jobs like teachers have no accountability. Layoffs are on the basis of seniority and not merit.

    b. Teachers get higher salaries just by getting more degrees and certification and not showing effectiveness in classroom.

    c. Good Teachers should earn more and bad teachers should be fired. As long as we are not in that position, there is no point in comparing private sector and public sector wages.

    The above views are not based on Wayland Town but a more general comment on the private sector and public sector wages.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Nick, I'm in general agreement with your points, although "no accountability" is a bit too strong. Teachers are evaluated today, and can be removed based on that evaluation. Removal may not be easy, but it's possible. To my knowledge, there isn't any research showing that teacher quality correlates with longevity or advanced degree. At the same time, it's not clear that there are any models in existence that fairly evaluate teacher effectiveness as judged by outcomes, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to find/create them.
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 04-07-2011 at 12:23 PM. Reason: replaced name being addressed because that user's name was changed to include first name

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    27

    Default

    Jeff,

    I completely agree that we should create a better mechanism to determine teacher effectiveness. Also the process of firing bad teachers should be less adversarial.

    Recently NY Times pointed out that only about 12,000 of 80,000 teachers have been evaluated, based on their students’ grades on standardized tests. I have been following the debate in NYC regarding the Last-in-first-out policy regarding layoffs. Mayor Bloomberg is actively campaigning for changing that rule. A good starting point would be the following bill that recently passed the New York Senate - it lays out a complicated list of eight criteria, instead of seniority, that would put teachers first in line to be laid off. Under the bill, those at risk would include: teachers who have received an unsatisfactory rating in any of the last five years, teachers serving in the Absent Teacher Reserve, teachers who have been the subject of an internal investigation that ended with the charges being substantiated and teachers who, for two years or more, have been ranked in the bottom 30 percent of teachers on the Teacher Data Reports.

    Arun Ramanathan, a former senior administrator in San Diego, said seniority-based layoff policies created more turmoil than was publicly recognized. “The public imagines that districts just lay off teachers starting at the bottom of a long seniority list,” Mr. Ramanathan said. But the process is more complex in many districts, he said, partly because layoff quotas are first allocated to each of a district’s schools, and teachers laid off from one school have the right to take the job of junior educators at other schools, if they are certified to teach that subject. “As a result, the harm of a single layoff can be multiplied, as a cascading process of ‘bumping’ begins,” said a February study by Education Trust-West, a nonprofit group, that was critical of California’s seniority-based layoff policies. Mr. Ramanathan was one of its authors.

    In 2010, Megan Sampson was named an Outstanding First Year Teacher in Wisconsin. A week later, she got a layoff notice from the Milwaukee Public Schools. She was laid off because her collective-bargaining contract requires staffing decisions to be made based on seniority.

    I understand that no system is perfect but LIFO is very unfair and any other sensibly designed system would be fairer. Even draw of lots is a better alternative.

    - Nick Sawrikar

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •