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Report: MI public employees not overpaid

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network


A new study seeks to dispel the impression that public employees are paid more than their counterparts working in the private sector. The report was paid for by public employee unions and conducted by the Washington D-C-based Economic Policy Institute as part of a seven-state study.

The study took into account education level, salary, and benefits. It found state employees with college degrees make significantly less than private sector workers at the same education level. Local government employees and public employees with a high school education are about even with their private sector counterparts. Ethan Pollack is with the Economic Policy Institute. He says states' budget troubles have more to do with the poor economy and growing health care costs.

"The deficits are being driven by factors that have nothing to do with the public sector compensation," he says.

This study does not directly contradict a report from Governor Rick Snyder's administration that says, overall, public employees make more than private sector workers. The governor's report did not compare similar jobs. But the governor's spokeswoman says it also does not contradict the fact that taxpayers cannot afford the state government they have right now.

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