Dude, Where’s My Raise?

A struggling economy and high unemployment left many without their yearly raise or bonus in 2009. That is, of course, unless you were a government employee.

As originally reported on the Heritage Foundation’s blog, government employees received twice the average raise in 2009 than those in the private sector, with total employee compensation in the public sector growing by 2.4% compared to just 1.4% in the private sector.

One of the major factors contributing to this disparity in public v. private compensation is government labor unions. Government workers, on the federal, state and local level, represent more than half of all union members. These unions bring lobbyists and special interests to the legislative table, continuously bartering for increased benefits and compensation, much to the detriment of your wallet.

There are several ways Pennsylvania can level the playing field for private industry. First, we should repeal the burdensome “prevailing-wage” laws that force government to pay higher-than-market wages. Second, we should enact “right-to-work” laws which end compulsory unionization. Finally, we should outlaw strikes for public employees in public services monopolies.