Fat cats getting fatter – by over 6% per annum

Given the pretty ordinary performance of governments across Australia in recent years (e.g. killer home insulation programs, loans being granted without proper approval, never-ending buck passing on our inadequate health system), you might expect some restraint among our pollies and public servants.  Instead we see pollies getting a pay rise (good on Bob Brown though for opposing it) and public servants continuing to receive big wage increases – 6.3% through-the-year to August 2010 compared with 4.0% for the private sector (see today’s Average Weekly Earnings release).

And in no way can this be considered as public servants experiencing some catch up pay rises.  Public sector full-time adult ordinary time earnings are an average $1,359.60 per week (i.e. $70,699 p.a.), or 11% higher than average private sector earnings of $1,229.50 per week (i.e. $63,934 p.a.).

Sure, public servants tend to be better educated on average than private sector workers, but if their wages were tied to performance then, based on recent experience, there’s no justification for that wage premium.  Moreover it’s doubtful whether a university degree is essential for many public service jobs.  Do you need a B.A. to draft a brush off letter to a member of the public telling him or her how the Government values their concerns but is already spending $XX million to make the state/country strong, green, sustainable, fair, innovative, yadda, yadda, yadda…

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