VT state employees and teachers make $12k more than the private sector

For Immediate Release
November 10, 2021

Contact: Ben Kinsley
(802) 310-3904

Montpelier, VT — On Wednesday Campaign for Vermont (CFV) released a new report that compares the wages and benefits of teachers and state employees to the private sector and what that means for the current discussions around pension reform.

“As a former Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Commissioner of Human Resources, I was surprised by what we found in this report,” said CFV President Pat McDonald, “I think everyone needs to read this report because there were a number of assumptions that were carried through the years that were just plain wrong.”

The report found, among other things, that public employees make around $12,000 more per year in wages alone than the average private sector employee (this gap grows further when benefits are considered). In retirement, this number jumps to $20,000 per year. The average public employee in Vermont also earns right at the 75th percentile for all wage earners in the state. This means, on average, they are in the top 25% of income earners before benefits are even considered.

Campaign for Vermont

“The goal is to better inform the public and policy makers about the reality around compensation for our public employees,” said Ben Kinsley, one of the lead researchers on the project. “There is a perception that state employees and teachers are underpaid and that we must offer extremely competitive benefits in order to compensate for this. In reality, the data doesn’t appear to back this up.” he concluded.

The organization hopes the pension task force, which is preparing to make recommendations to the legislature, will review this information and ask appropriate questions about the total compensation of public employees as they receive push back on making critical changes to pension benefits.

“We have always said we need to value or public employees,” said McDonald, “we should not break promises, but to do this we also need to make changes that safeguard the long-term stability of our pension funds. I think what we have learned here is that going forward we maybe don’t need to be quite as generous as we thought we did to compete with the private sector.”

The full report can be found at CampaignForVermont.org.

Images courtesy of Public domain and Campaign for Vermont

4 thoughts on “VT state employees and teachers make $12k more than the private sector

  1. More sad stats. Add up the total State, Local and Teachers who are unionized in VT….and it is about 27,000. VT population around 625,000. But about 45% of them are under 18 or over 65, so largely not in the taxpaying workforce. That leaves ballpark about 340,000 working ….and majority of them in private sector make low to middle wages. Nothing compared to the total compensation the 27,000 union members get. But VT politicians depend on the Teachers, State and Municipal union mebers to vote for them, but more importantly, Unions are amoung the largest Democrat $$donors as well. Game is rigged 🙂

  2. In general, teachers get a retirement based on the three highest years of pay. That is not considered when they are looking for a raise, and it should be. The day is near when the people paying the bill are going to be out of money.

  3. It is much wore. Most private sector workers get about 2-3 weeks paid vacation? Add up all the vacations and Holidays and summers off teachers get? 10, 12 or 14 weeks? Then add in gold plated health and retirement benefits uinheard of in the private sector? Then add in gold plated retirement benefits, PENSIONS. No private sector pensions give cost of living increases yearly. Unions do. Only about 15% of private employers nationwide can still afford pensions….they cost too much. They switched to 401’K’s for new employees. Then add in that bad teacrhers basically can’t be fired. I went thru that in my town, a horror story of a terrible teacher who just got shifted around to different grades and schools…to whitewash it. Unions won’t allow firings. Firings happen all the time in private sector.

    The only thing that saved VT was COVID… VT normally get’s about $2.5 billion annually from the Gov’t. they paid VT about $3-$4 billion extra for covid? And now the infrastructore bill will give VT another $2 billion, one of the highest payouts nationwide on a per capita basis. VT always has existed on Other Peoples Money.

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