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Do people in the private sector really work harder than government workers?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Smallpotatoes, May 31, 2009.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member


    Am I supposed to be bothered by government workers loafing on the job? If so, why?
    Don't private sector workers loaf on the job sometimes, too?
  2. exmediahack

    exmediahack Well-Known Member

    My wife worked for a few years, as support staff for a state university.

    My goodness -- what a bizarre culture.

    Automatic raises, $50 a month for family health insurance. Don't feel like coming to work today? No problem. Just keep track of your days off. Mandatory paid-for meals for any meetings that are out of the office and last more than 30 minutes.

    She worked really hard for the first few months and then her supervisor actually told her to ease off because it was making the other departments look bad.

    Sure, private sector workers loaf on the job sometimes but customers EXPECT it on the part of the government side. Private companies have higher expectations, except for fast food and standing in line at a Walmart.
  3. HC

    HC Well-Known Member

    I worked for the Bank of Montreal when they bought out the British Columbia 2nd mortgage program and was part of the team that worked the transition. Five of us went into an office where a dozen people worked and were searching for something to do by 10:30 AM. The government people didn't like us.
  4. crimsonace

    crimsonace Active Member

    Workers who are worried about losing their jobs work harder than those who aren't. Fear of failure is one of our greatest motivators.

    Public-sector workers -- of which I am one -- generally are more protected (e.g., less likely to lose their jobs). One of the biggest reasons I moved to the public sector was the job security. Yet, I have colleagues who haven't worked a day in 20 years (and doing some pretty egregious things to boot), and have no chance of losing their jobs.

    It's also why unionized workers get a bum rap for being lazy -- they're more protected by work rules, therefore, they don't "have" to work as hard. Which is where you get the stories of guys who have their friends clock them in while they go fishing for the day and get away with it, et al ...

    When the boss can fire you for any reason, you work harder to make yourself indispensable.

    I would say that 75-80% of public-sector, unionized private-sector and non-union private-sector workers work equally hard. It's the other 20-25% that get the bad rap -- in the public sector and unionized private sector, they're protected. In the non-union private sector, they often get fired.
  5. king cranium maximus IV

    king cranium maximus IV Active Member

    Ahh. I remember whipping out
    old chestnut at a university adviser who apparently subscribed to the if-I'm-listening-to-NPR-with-my-office-door-locked-I'm-working philosophy.
  6. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    For what it's worth...

    I worked equally hard editing a sports section as I did teaching. In my current position, I do not need to work that hard to get by.
    I have written at papers where staff writers lone byline of the week was a shitty SID roundup of where are they now bullshit. You have slackers everywhere, but you probably see more of them in the public sector because they are paid less.
  7. DocTalk

    DocTalk Active Member

    I have no idea who might work harder, private or public sector workers. When choosing a work opportunity, people decide whether the compensation is adequate. (I also realize that in this economy, any job may be a good job). However, the perception that public sector workers are paid less may be incorrect. From a February Forbes column http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/0216/078.html

    The common presumption is that public servants forgo high wages in exchange for safe jobs and benefits. The reality is they get all three. State and local government workers get paid an average of $25.30 an hour, which is 33% higher than the private sector's $19, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Throw in pensions and other benefits and the gap widens to 42%.
  8. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    You don't pay the salary of the private sector employee who is loafing on the job. But you do pay the salary of the government worker, which is why you should care more about whether government employees are pulling their weight.
  9. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Or, more to the point, if some government office has 30 employees when it really only needs five.
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