And its been longer than that for many privately employed workers. Cant feel bad for anyone with a Govt job. They have zero acountability, gigundous pensions, free/cheap health care, and womb to tomb job security.
2) Gigundous pensions huh? Know what my pension is going to be when I retire? Pretty tough talking out your backside isn't it? For about the last 20 years or so, new hires are under a system called FERS. CSRS used to be the standard and was a little more generous. The politicians have done a damn good job of cutting pensions/retirement for all federal employees except postal, politicians and the military. Our retirement now mainly comes from our 401k's (TSP) with a 1% agency match up to a certain amount. That allowed them to drastically reduce the pension %.
3) Free health care? Nope. Postal unions have a insane program (they pay 30% less for better). Military have it pretty good with tricare. Non-unionized federals have pretty crappy health care. 1 person with the low tier through an HMO - $80 per month, no eyewear and no dental. Dental is an extra $30 per month for minimal. Don't remember what eyewear is.
4) Unfortunately this is more accurate than I'd like. It's tough to fire people on the spot, except for money fraud (time, travel expenses, etc..), and drug usage. Poor performers are put on improvement programs. They fail, then you can fire them. But then we don't have the same issues with "unjust firing" lawsuits the private industry has. Fired and your pension goes up in smoke.
I worked in private industry for 9 years for 2 companies. I got yearly reviews (raises most years of ~ 3%, expenses paid when I traveled (within reason), 5% matching 401k (and 3% for the second company), better health care for the same amount I pay now.
I've worked for the government for 8 years now. Yearly reviews (raises between 1-3%), expenses paid and per diem when I travel, 1% matching 401k, dip in health care coverages.
- I also took a pay cut to move to the government, I have to stay in BOQ or base lodging when I travel to save the costs (vs getting a hotel at gov rate), pay for a lot of supplies we use (CD's, printer ink, etc...) because our budget's been slashed and we still have jobs to do, been through a BRAC and RIF.
Sorry that you clump all government workers into the same category, but hey, thanks to the latest deal reached in DC you can still suck up an extra year of unemployment while you "look" for a job.