Gov. Bruce Rauner’s preview of his State of the State address won’t win him any allies from government workers. The latter half of Rauner’s goal of making Illinois “competitive and compassionate” relies on maximizing state revenue. What may get in the way is the high average salary for state employees, which Rauner – citing the Pew Center on the States – says is more than 20 percent above what the average private sector-worker makes. “That’s one of the biggest gaps of any state in America,” Rauner said.
Rauner is also criticizing the cost of benefits for state employees, including health care and pensions, but he also insists he’s not demonizing people who work in the public sector.
“I want government workers to have a good life and have a good job,” Rauner said, “but it’s got to be fair.”
Management may be the problem, according to Rauner, as he says the talents of government workers “aren’t being optimized.”