Employee Appreciation

Of all the holidays that let people take a day off, wouldn’t you think that National Employee Appreciation Day should be one of those?

We let people take a day off in honor of that great Missourian, Christopher Columbus, and for other holidays or quasi-holidays. For example, here at Learfield Communications, the company that grew out of the original Missouri Network, Inc., the only mice stirring in our building on National Gluttony Recovery Day (the day after Thanksgiving) are those of us in the newsrooms.

On this day that already has a quality of irony, we opened the Jefferson City News-Tribune and found Bob Watson and Gerry Tritz’s story at the top of the page: “Study: State workers earn 23.9% less.”

Bob and Gerry report on a study by a Rutgers University professor, released through the Economic Policy Institute, that shows Missouri’s state workers are paid almost one-fourth less than they would earn for the same work in the civilian sector. If you work for a municipality, you earn about 16% less than you would if you did the same thing in the private sector.

Bob and Gerry tell us the report also says government workers get “considerably less” supplemental pay, less vacation time, and less employer contributions to legally mandated benefits financed by payroll taxes.

The study dumps some more salt into the wound with this finding. 53% of fulltime ublic sector workers have at least one college degree. In the private sector that figure is only 27%.

Our employees—and they are OUR employees because our taxes pay them–are twice as educated as private sector workers and earn 16-24 percent less.

Do you think a state worker who hears a candidate or an office-holder proclaim that “government should be run more like a business” might appropriately respond, “Put up or shut up.”

We do appreciate them, though, don’t we? Gosh yes. We appreciate them so much we have an Employee Appreciation Day!

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