Saturday, December 10, 2011

Are you getting YOUR ‘fair share,’ fella?

Hey there, Bucky, this is the old Poppycock philosopher with some questions for you.

Assuming you’re still working, are you being paid enough?  Are you friend?

Look at that; almost everyone has their hand up!  Not much surprise there.

Next question: if you had control of your employer’s web site, would you proclaim on it, for all the world to see, how underpaid you are?

Well…what happened?  No hands up; you’re not so brave when it comes to criticizing your employer on his own web site, for all the world to see, are you?

Not everybody is as sheepish as you, friend, when it comes to speaking up. To prove the point, consider the Maine State Housing Authority, about which we’ve posted many times.

We hear a lot about not ‘paying our fair share’ these days, as the federal government tries to find a plausible excuse for spending way beyond their means.  But our friends at MSHA are out there publicly proclaiming that they aren’t getting their fair share, and they’re happy to tell you why.

Just visit this page at their web site.  You’ll find such as this:

The Maine Department of Labor published three salaries for each position: average, experienced, and those in the top 10% of the field. MaineHousing employees with less than 5 years experience in their position are compared with the average market salary, those with 5 to 20 years of experience in their position are compared to the experienced market salary, and those with more than 20 years experience in their position are compared to the top 10% of their field.

  • MaineHousing salaries average 15% below the average market salaries for the same position. (The salaries for the 20 employees who were employed at MaineHousing for less than a year were not factored.)
  • When experience is taken into account, MaineHousing salaries fall to 25.7% below the comparable market position with the same level of experience.

Note that what most would consider ‘entry level’ employees, those with less than 5 years experience, are compared with ‘average’ market salary.  No rigging the outcome here, right?

If you want position by position ‘proof,’ you can look at individual salaries.

What term is appropriate here: unmitigated gall?  Brass ones?  Big cajones?  The nerve of some people?

Polite language is ineffective at characterizing the chutzpah of government employees brash enough to complain about their compensation on their agency web site.  Where they gush about addressing the needs of the less fortunate. 

We bet those using the web site to find the help they need to get by are just thrilled to see the list of salaries used to emphasize staff complaints!  Great expression of compassion, folks.

This is the same MSHA whose compensation growth in recent years was publicized by the Maine Open Government activity at the Maine Heritage Policy Center, based on information provided by MSHA itself.  Staff compensation there has increased by 30% in the most recent five years:

Do you find this troubling, friend?  Well lift your head up high, and tell everyone you’ll never give up -- that ship!

But don’t expect those at MSHA to be troubled, because they’ll say you just don’t understand the difference between the public sector and the private sector.  That you don’t appreciate their sacrifice as ‘public servants.’

We don’t know about you, but the staff here at Side sure as hell doesn’t understand.

We don’t understand why those with all the benefits, job security, and absence of competition of government employment can grumble about their circumstances.

And we are pretty sure we never, ever will.

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