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Old 01-11-2016, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,349 posts, read 4,210,180 times
Reputation: 16076

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
You missed the point 2sleepy was making. Public employers use defined benefit pensions to keep highly trained professionals working for them very cheaply. We're not talking about prison guards or clerks but doctors, psychologists, computer programmers, engineers, accounts, actuaries, etc. Doing away with those defined benefit pensions will result in those kinds of high skill employees leaving the public sector for the private sector. However, governments still need those kinds of employees to carry on the functions of government ... so they're going to have to pay the going private sector rates while having absolutely no hold on those employees leaving in the middle of projects for greener pastures.

I worked in IT for state government and a public college. Many young programmers use public sector jobs as stepping stones to much better compensation in the private sector even with the availability of defined benefit pensions. I started working in public service about 30 years ago. If it had not been for the pension plan or if I had started in my twenties rather than my thirties, I would have never have stayed. I don't know a single IT professional who would have.

Public employers are at the mercy of elected officials and they pander to public sector unions. I know how the game is played because I was once part of it. That's why you'll see Republican states going to defined contribution before Democrat states. I was once forced to join a public employee union as a condition of keeping my job. At the union headquarters there were about 50 campaign signs from over the years. Every single one of them was for a Democrat. When Alaska went to defined contribution, it was with a Republican controlled House and Senate and a Republican governor.
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
31,241 posts, read 13,723,789 times
Reputation: 22303
Quote:
Originally Posted by le roi View Post
At the municipal/county/state level, it tends to be people-managers who are overpaid. A lot of HR types, executive staff, or mid/upper level management. Gov HR doesn't know how to properly assess the value of technical skills, and tend to use "how many people report to you" as a direct measure of value to the org. That's just my experience.
I think in some cases public agency department heads are overpaid, but they are generally not union members and their pay is generally determined by the city council/ county board of supervisors and at times bears no relationship to the salary of their subordinates. Usually managers/supervisors below the level of department head are paid what their subordinates earn plus some premium of 5-15%. At least in California unless you are public safety (police, CHP, fire) working in the public sector is not lucrative.

It's even worse in Nevada where public employees are picking up almost the entire cost of their health care and have a crappy retirement plan. They suffered through 2 or 3 rounds of pay cuts and I don't think their wages have even recovered to pre-recession levels, but that's probably because Nevada likes to give it's tax money to Elon Musk and Apple rather than to it's employees.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
31,241 posts, read 13,723,789 times
Reputation: 22303
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
Public employers are at the mercy of elected officials and they pander to public sector unions. I know how the game is played because I was once part of it. That's why you'll see Republican states going to defined contribution before Democrat states. I was once forced to join a public employee union as a condition of keeping my job. At the union headquarters there were about 50 campaign signs from over the years. Every single one of them was for a Democrat. When Alaska went to defined contribution, it was with a Republican controlled House and Senate and a Republican governor.
Then I would imagine that if Alaska public employees belong to a union they will be putting up signs to vote for Republicans, right? Democrats wouldn't have a lock on the union vote if Republicans quit trying to abolish them.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:11 AM
 
8,007 posts, read 5,084,075 times
Reputation: 13712
Off topic, but it's interesting how the state/local situation, based on the above ruminations, is exactly backwards from the situation amongst federal employees in the Department of Defense. Not many employees are under 50. Quite a few were hired during the Nixon, Ford or Carter administrations, as co-ops or fresh college graduates, and are still working. There's also a sizeable cohort hired towards the tail end of the Reagan administration. These are the aforementioned younger baby-boomers, who will likely remain working past 2020.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
A lot of professionals/technical positions get filled by older workers in their 30s or 40s who are willing to trade bigger salaries for better security and pensions.
I have to chuckle at the moniker "older workers" applied to the above. Around my office, "older worker" means that you remember Pearl Harbor.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:17 AM
 
Location: SoCal
13,462 posts, read 6,433,987 times
Reputation: 10033
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sleepy View Post
If public agencies are going to cut benefits they will need to increase employee wages, in fact in many cases they need to increase wages even with the current benefit packages. The public agency my son works for can't attract new accountants because the pay is so low compared with the private sector so they are stuck with hiring college grads who stay for a year or two and bail for the private sector or when they can't fill spots at all they bring retirees back to work. That is not sustainable in the long term. (and this is in that nasty old nanny state California) With two promotions my son's pay is 5% more than it was in 2010.
Not true. My sister who is a CPA got hired for the state of California and wanted to be employed longer. But she didn't get along with internal politic and they fired her before the year is up. Bold face lie if you say they can't attract accountant. This is recently in the last few years.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:30 AM
 
22,769 posts, read 26,279,950 times
Reputation: 14559
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewbieHere View Post
Not true. My sister who is a CPA got hired for the state of California and wanted to be employed longer. But she didn't get along with internal politic and they fired her before the year is up. Bold face lie if you say they can't attract accountant. This is recently in the last few years.
Maybe -- just maybe -- the agency your sister works for is different from the agency her son works for.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:58 AM
 
Location: SoCal
13,462 posts, read 6,433,987 times
Reputation: 10033
Quote:
Originally Posted by le roi View Post
Maybe -- just maybe -- the agency your sister works for is different from the agency her son works for.
But her point is the low salary and they couldn't attract accountant, they couldnt they just have to know how to treat people better. The low pay wasnt the problem.
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
31,241 posts, read 13,723,789 times
Reputation: 22303
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewbieHere View Post
Not true. My sister who is a CPA got hired for the state of California and wanted to be employed longer. But she didn't get along with internal politic and they fired her before the year is up. Bold face lie if you say they can't attract accountant. This is recently in the last few years.
Why would I lie about it? Everything I say if verifiable if someone wants to put the effort into looking for it. And honestly, it takes more than having a problem with internal politics to get fired from any public service job in California so maybe your sister has 'other issues'.
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:06 PM
 
Location: SoCal
13,462 posts, read 6,433,987 times
Reputation: 10033
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sleepy View Post
Why would I lie about it? Everything I say if verifiable if someone wants to put the effort into looking for it. And honestly, it takes more than having a problem with internal politics to get fired from any public service job in California so maybe your sister has 'other issues'.
Who knows? I would say twisting the truth is more accurate, for the sake of discussion. Yes I'm sure you would have said others people have problem, in fact I'm anticipated this comment.
I think they dumped tons of work, because she could do a lot of things for low pay. It turned out even some higher level people didn't do it right. Temper flared, my sister is not known for withholding discord. In other words, she doesn't kiss butt well.
By the way I read around here in the last few months, it doesn't sound like she is the only one with other issues. Especially when my comments don't agree with yours.
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
31,241 posts, read 13,723,789 times
Reputation: 22303
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewbieHere View Post
"Temper flared, my sister is not known for withholding discord".
And I'm sure she had that trait before she went to work for the state, which just proves my contention. My son told me about a CPA they hired several months ago. She complained non-stop, when she proved herself incapable of learning the job she turned nasty and went after my son claiming he wasn't training her, so a supervisor took over the training and 2 weeks later she got fired. Those are the kinds of employees that low wages attract, problem children and inexperienced recent college grads. I rest my case.
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