is a self-inflicted wound:
According to recently released 2004 data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hourly earnings of state and local government employees exceed those of private sector employees in the greater New York City region by an average of 15 percent- $28.26 to $24.62.
The data, which is available on a regional basis but not for individual localities, covers the greater New York City region....
This wage data, which includes hourly earnings but excludes fringe benefits, undermines the long standing myth that the public sector must provide unusually generous fringe benefits packages in order to compensate for higher private-sector salaries.
The advantage of state and local government workers was particularly evident in two broad occupational categories – blue-collar workers were paid 30 percent more in the public sector, and workers in service occupations were paid 94 percent more.
...."This data highlights the need for governments in the greater New York City area to rethink their fringe benefits packages for public employees," said CBC President Diana Fortuna. "The perception that public-sector wages are lower than those in the private sector has been used to justify relatively generous benefits packages.