Is the gap between private and public salaries a myth?

A new trend has emerged...

Is the gap between private and public salaries a myth?

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The gap between the average earnings of employees in the public sector and their private sector counterparts has narrowed, according to latest data published by the CSO - at least it had in the three years to 2014.

On average public sector workers earned 9% more than equivalent private sector employees in 2011, but this narrowed to a 5% differential by 2014, the latest year for which the data is available.

There is a trend that lower-level public workers receive favourable terms - but this advantage reduces over time and at the higher-end of the scale private sector workers make more.

The Unite union says that these figures, "explode [the] public sector pay premium myth."

Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said: "Public sector workers are regularly portrayed as overpaid when compared to their private sector counterparts. The figures published today show that public sector workers are in fact paid slightly less than their private sector counterparts.

"It also shows that in contrast to the private sector - where, as shown by yesterday’s ICTU report, top executives can enjoy lotto-style pay packages – there is greater income equality in the public sector."