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I went to the Statesman Journal site and think I found the article you were talking about- from June 14th, right? It did say that public vs. private compensation is comparable, but it wasn't clear to me that the study included retirement benefits. To me, the single biggest area of public employee pay that needs to be looked at is retirement benefits. State employees do a lot of very important jobs and they should be fairly compensated while they are working. But it seems crazy to continue to pay people after they retire. It would be great if Think Out Loud or OPB could do a piece on how Oregon, other state governments, and the feds got to the place where continuing to pay a high percentage of an employee's ending salary is considered normal. Completely strange to think the state would pay people anywhere near as much in retirement as when they were actually working. They should provide the pay and benefits needed to attract quality workers and let workers pay into a retirement plan of some kind, but once they stop working for the state, no more paychecks. Essentially the structure should be the same as for a young person joining the private-sector workforce today. By the way, it is possible that if the state stopped paying retirement benefits, they would be forced to pay higher annual salaries to attract good employees. One way or another, it is clear that the current system is unsustainable and needs major change.
posted 2 years, 11 months ago
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