Why Johnny can’t swim, and other tragedies
Over at the Badger Blogger, they’re not too worried about the compensation Milwaukee County employees have received. In addition to generous salaries, employees receive a very generous benefits package:
According to the county’s website, the 2008 benefits cost for Milwaukee County employees was 74.35% of salary. And while county employees are decrying proposed wage cuts and cuts to services (and are willing to show up at taxpayer rallies in an attempt to make their “plight” known) the cost of their benefits is projected to have increased another 8-10% in 2009, according to budget analysts.
In real dollars, this means that a typical county employee – say, for example, county social worker, union organizer, prolific semi-professional blogger, and Chairman of the recently-formed “non-partisan social welfare organization” Milwaukee County First, Chris Liebenthal – making $48,816.00 annually, according to a publicly accessible online database, courtesy of the Journal/Sentinel – actually cost county taxpayers an additional $36,295 in 2008 non-salary compensation. If 2009 projections are accurate, this cost becomes in excess of $40,000.00.
To put this in further perspective, a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report suggests that the average benefits cost for private sector employers, effective June 2009, was 29.3% of monetary compensation. (Emphasis in the original.)
The next time someone complains about a swimming pool or a bus route being shut down, you can tell them Milwaukee County has had other priorities.