ERIC Number: ED317457
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Oct
Public Employees: Facts at a Glance.
American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, Washington, DC. Public Employee Dept.
Seventeen million people are employed in the delivery of government services in the United States, more than half of these in education, health care, and public safety. Others provide services related to defense, postal service, the environment, housing, and administration. Though 82 percent of public employees work for state and local government, the federal government spends more than half of all public monies, due to the large portion going to national defense. The United States invests fewer federal, state, and local resources in public services, and this under-investment takes its toll on living standards and economic vitality. The tax burden has shifted from corporations and the wealthy to low and middle income people. Annual earnings for full-time government employees is about average compared with U.S. median income, but there are still some major inequities. Public employees are the only group of workers in the United States without the federally protected right to organize and bargain collectively, so state and local employees have turned to state laws to guarantee such rights. When given the opportunity, public employees tend to choose union representation. According to polls, the vast majority of U.S. citizens support government spending on education, health care, housing, the environment, and elderly programs. The revenue necessary to finance these programs need not come from increasing the tax burden of low and middle income people, but billions of dollars more could be raised simply by closing corporate tax loopholes, raising the tax rate of the wealthy, and re-allocating military spending as the Cold War winds down. Quality public services strengthen the economy and communities, and bind together people as a society. (AS)
Descriptors: Collective Bargaining, Employment Patterns, Employment Practices, Expenditures, Federal Government, Federal State Relationship, Finance Reform, Government Employees, Government Role, Labor Economics, Labor Relations, Local Government, Public Service Occupations, Resource Allocation, State Government, Statistical Distributions, Tax Rates, Taxes, Unions
Public Employee Department, AFL-CIO, 815 Sixteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006 ($1.00).
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, Washington, DC. Public Employee Dept.