Liu Wades Into Fight Over Public Employees

Wisconsin has been gripped by a weeks-long sit-in in the state Capitol. The governor of New Jersey has fingered public school teachers as enemies of reform. Thousands are protesting changes to collective bargaining in Ohio.

And now into the debate over the public sector workforce enters John Liu.

The New York City Comptroller released a report today that found that in New York City municipal employees are actually paid less than their private sector counterparts and that city’s pension costs are roughly the same as a large corporation employer’s cost of contriution to a defined contibution plan.

Republicans and conservatives have been arguing that public sector employees are vastly overpaid and receive gold-plated pension benefits due to their political influence, particularly within the Democratic Party.

“It is also our hope and expectation that what we discover about public employee compensation and benefits here in New York City will also elucidate conversations happening all across the country,” Liu said.

The report compared public and private sector employees with similar education levels, and found that only city workers with less education were paid more than their private sector counterparts.

Liu was propelled into the office by labor, and he was asked by The Daily News’ Erin Einhorn if political calculations figured into the timing and substance of the report. Liu is widely believed to be a mayoral contender in 2013.

“I will note, as I noted to all of you during the campaign, that all of my rivals for this office sought the same kind of support from the unions, from the working people of New York City and I was always honored to earn that support.”

  Liu Wades Into Fight Over Public Employees