Compensation report worth a look
Last year, the Illinois Policy Institute released a study that detailed the state’s lofty judicial salaries and generous retirement benefits.
Not content with doing just one compensation study, the group has come out with another.
Titled “Out of Sync: Government and private employee compensation in Illinois,” the study was released last week.
As the name implies, the study contends that government workers, both state and local, earn more total compensation than their private sector counterparts.
How much more?
For state government employees, it’s 23 percent more (an average of $69,500 in total compensation compared to $56,500 for private sector workers).
For local government employees, it’s 12 percent more (an average of $63,100 in total compensation compared to $56,500 for private sector workers).
Much of the difference, study author Wendell Cox states, comes from employer-paid benefits, which for government workers amount to more than 1.5 times the benefits received by private sector workers.
Government workers have a leg up on their private sector brethren in other ways, according to the study: “... [S]uperior job security, superior sick time accrual, earlier retirement, and higher retirement incomes” – not to mention more paid vacation days.
Public sector employees seem to know a good thing when they’ve got it. The study states that the employee turnover rate is quite low – about one-fourth that of private sector workers.
The problem, according to the Illinois Policy Institute, is that Illinois’ dreadful budget deficits and crushing debt render such pay and benefits “unsustainable.”
No study would be complete without recommendations for change. The IPI calls for various reforms, such as moving from a defined-benefit pension to a defined-contribution retirement system, to put government and private compensation on the road to parity.
Last year, the judicial salary report author could not entice any judges to comment on their compensation.
Will this year’s compensation report be greeted with similar silence?
We encourage people to read the complete report online (www.illinoispolicy.org) and draw their own conclusions.
More Local Editorials News
- Good government group aims to promote redistricting reform
- Another small school set to close its doors
- Mentorship program good for kids, adults
- Integrity, honesty lacking in music program scandal
- From our archives: Vacancy sparked Lee-Whiteside squabble