Saturday, January 24, 2009

Public Sector: A Feast Amidst the Plague: Update I

Here is another interesting observation concerning Public Sector earnings.

The figure below clearly shows that wages in the lowest earning categories of public sector fall within 1 standard deviation of the total public sector wage (i.e the average). This disputes an argument that there is any significant degree of heterogeneity in pay within our public sector.

Statistically, this shows that not a single category of workers in the Public Sector (identified by their respective sub-sectors of employment) earn less than the overall Public Sector average.

Indeed, this data (taken from the CSO - see here) proves that within the public sector, the so-called 'low paid' areas or professions enjoy a relatively average rate of pay, with the average itself being artificially inflated by the higher earning categories. In other words, there is no pleading relative poverty for any sub-sector of the public sector employment.

PS: Did anyone notice an apparently bizarre logic our public sector trade unions have taken to in arguing against any cuts in public sector wages?

Well, they are arguing that such a cut would be deflationary
(in case you have not noticed, deflation is a new evil). Thus, their argument goes, to rescue our economy out of the current crisis, one should stick to the excessive wage increases granted to the public sector employees under the last Social Partnership deal. But hold on, weren't the same trade unions also arguing that high inflation in the past made it imperative to raise wages paid to the public sector employees?

In other words, ICTU/SIPTU and the rest of them are having it both ways: inflation or deflation, they'll have a pay rise in the name of the nation's economic health...

Have a cake, eat it, and get the rest of us to pay for both?

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