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Public Employee Benefits
Public Employee Benefits

AIR DATE: March 8, 2011

The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce says that public employees in Nevada are still among the highest paid in the country. Their latest update on government workers rates them the ninth most highly paid in the country. But the public employees say that their retirement scheme is one of only five in the country that will never run out of money. So who's right? And will these reforms succeed?

Steve Hill, State Policy Task Force Chair, Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce
Dave Kallas, lobbyist, Nevadans for Nevada
Samuel Covelli, retired officer, Nevada Department of Corrections

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I feel that public vs private sector pay and benefits can be easily twisted and spinned when analyzed. In my opinion, the reason why public sector employees come out ahead in some metrics is because the fundamental basis of their compensation is different. I feel that politicians, in their zeal to lower tax rates and lower costs in the short term, resort to a compensation strategy for public employees that lowers short-term expenditures while kicking the longterm expenses down the road. When things go wrong, this is what happens. I say that many private sector benefit packages are based on immediate expenses and minimal longterm expenditures. Simply put, I believe that the budget problems that are being put on public employees are because of a compensation structure unique to public employees that rely on deferred compensation and ballooning costs, while private companies do not have the drive to lower taxes and thus can afford to have a different employee compensation system.
RobertMar 7, 2011 23:37:31 PM
In the current economy, it shouldn't be surprising that average private sector pay is low compared to the more stable public sector. What do the 5 or 10 year trends look like? Is pay disparity a result of the great recession?
WillMar 7, 2011 09:36:23 AM
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