On June 4, Fiscal Services released updated information on state employee salaries in Iowa as well as the rest of the United States. State employees continue to do better than private sector workers. The information does provide evidence that open scope collective bargaining changes would be expensive for taxpayers.
Based upon data from the U.S. Census Bureau, State Government Employment Payroll for March 2007, the State of Iowa ranks 9th in total average payroll. Based upon this data, Iowa Government has an average monthly payroll per FTE of $4,479 ($53,748 annually) for 53,427 FTE positions.
The national average per month is $4,131 ($49,572). Going back to 1997 (the tail end of the Branstad Administration), Iowa was 14th and less than $100 per month more than the national average. Now Iowa ranks 9th and is almost $350 per month above the national average. The increase is in large part due to the Vilsack Administration being more favorable to the state employee unions than Branstad.
Here are the rankings through 2007:
Every one of Iowa’s neighbors, except Minnesota, ranks lower on the list. Illinois, with its history of corruption and political patronage, ranked behind Iowa (Illinois ranked #12).
These numbers show that Iowa’s state employees are very well compensated. It is also evidence that undercut any argument from labor interests that public employees need open scope bargaining to be properly compensated. The bottom line is that the state and taxpayers cannot afford the increases that would be brought on by the adoption of open scope collective bargaining.
Data: Employee Rank 1997 2002 and 2007 March (PDF)