In a recent Washington Post poll, the majority of Americans don’t seem to have much faith in their public sector peers; many believe that federal employees are overpaid, underqualified and not very hard workers.
Poor public image is nothing new for government employees—but the fact that much of the ire seems to come from Republicans was a surprising revelation.
Over 80 percent of GOP members think public sector folks are over-compensated; just two percent of Republicans think government workers work harder than private sector employees. In contrast, 11 percent of Democrats believe federal workers work harder, and almost one in five believe they’re of a higher quality than those in the private sector.
Democrats were also found to have better overall perceptions of government employees they had encountered in the past year, while just 26 percent of all surveyed Republicans thought those they had encountered were good at their job.
John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, blames unions and the Obama administration for not sticking up for federal employees as needed.
Gage noted that public opinions can change fast, so perhaps an image overhaul is in the feds’ future?
Are you surprised by the lack of respect among Republicans for federal employees? Why or why not? And in your experience, have the government employees you’ve encountered been competent?