Publications and Resources
This annual report shows that the recession continues to have a significant impact on state employees, whose wages are not keeping up with the rate of inflation. Average earnings have increased just 0.2 percent from last year. The report also reflects the continuing discrepancies between private and public salaries, with salaries substantially higher in the private sector. In addition, findings continue to show that jobs covered by a collective bargaining agreement have wages that are 35 percent higher than those not covered. This is the 13th year that AFT Public Employees has released its report comparing the salaries of state employees across the country.
Cutbacks and budget deficits are on everyone’s mind this year, and our new compensation survey indicates that wages have increased just 1.8 percent since last year. This is somewhat higher than the 0.4 percent increase in 2010, but the last two years have seen the two smallest increases in the years we have collected salary data for these jobs. It is also worth noting that the global average salary for state employees in our survey has increased only 3.2 percent (less than .5 percent per year) since 2002. This 12th edition of the survey once again shows that public sector knowledge workers in state government—those with high levels of education and professional responsibility—are often at a salary disadvantage when compared with their counterparts in the private sector. The survey, which is released every Labor Day, reflects pay rates in effect March 1 of the given year for 45 professional, scientific and related occupations in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
A standard talking point among some politicians, pundits and anti-government groups masked as think tanks is that government employees make more money than private sector workers. Not so, according to the 2010 AFT Public Employees Compensation Survey of state government jobs, which is the only national survey of its kind. For the first time since the AFT started publishing the survey in 2000, wage growth was virtually flat, up an average of 0.4 percent to $47,245. The survey, released every September, reflects pay rates in effect March 1 of the same year for 45 professional, scientific and related occupations in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The cumulative state budget shortfall for 2010 is estimated to be more than $166 billion. States will not be able to cut their way out of a shortfall of this magnitude. There are no easy choices to solve this crisis. To be a part of crafting a solution that does not place the burden of balancing public budgets squarely on public employees, AFT Public Employees, together with the AFT research department, have created a resource guide for locals, state federations and coalition partners. State Revenue Systems: Options for the Current Fiscal Crisis provides an explanation of current revenue structures state-by-state and suggests alternatives to improve revenue stability and progressivity. The guide is available online here. For a printed copy, please e-mail Karen Schiffhauer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While the average salary of state employees rose a modest 2.6 percent in 2009 to $47,077, the “buying power” of state employees has not increased since 2002. These are among the findings of the 2009 AFT Public Employees Compensation Survey of 45 state employee job titles in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The survey, now in its 10th year of publication, is the only national survey that tracks the salaries of state government employees.
Salaries for state government professionals registered a modest 2.4 percent increase from 2007 to 2008, according to the ninth annual AFT Public Employees Compensation Survey. The increase was less than the inflation rate, 4 percent, and significantly less than the previous year’s 5.7 percent increase. The survey also shows that most state employees earn far less than their private sector counterparts.
The growing trend toward offshoring and "contracting out" of local and state government jobs is threatening the quality of many public services, costing taxpayers millions in cost overruns and waste, and robbing many communities of good jobs. (June 2004)
This report details long-term damage to education, healthcare and public services due to states’ continuing budget deficits. The national report includes case studies of three states—Washington, Wisconsin and New York—explaining how federal tax cuts and reduced revenue have devastated essential programs, services and jobs. (Feb. 2004)
Government employers are facing a crisis in recruiting and retaining quality employees. Additionally, some public sector employees have watched their pay and benefits become less competitive and have chosen to leave the public sector for more lucrative positions in the private sector. This report of the Recruitment and Retention Task Force gives information on approaches to the recruitment and retention issue to provide local unions with options to develop appropriate strategies for their unique situations. (Feb. 2002)
Digital Government and Technological Change: The Impact on Public Employees and Quality Public Services
Government workplaces across the country have changed dramatically over the past several years due to advances in technology. This rapid pace of change presents significant challenges that must be addressed if government is to meet its full potential for improving public services. The AFT Public Employees digital government task force explores technological change, and the challenges facing our members in the digital era, in its final report. (Aug. 2002)
Lower revenues affect both the quality of services provided by the states and the very standard of living of our members. These harder times come when states need to recruit and retain the next generation of public servants, rebuild hospitals, schools and other public infrastructure, and improve healthcare, education, environmental quality and public safety. This report from the Revenue and Taxation Task Force describes the importance of the federal government in providing state funds and assesses each of the major taxes states use to raise revenue. (July 2001)