Q-poll: Public employees should pay more for benefits

Americans are divided on the level of pay for government workers, but a solid majority thinks they should pay more for their benefits, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

The national poll comes as public employee unions in many states, including Connecticut, are under pressure for concessions to help ease budget problems.

The telephone survey of 1,887 registered voters found that 42 percent of the public thinks public employees are paid too much, while 35 percent say their pay is about right and 15 percent say their pay is too low. The margin of error is +/- 2.3 percentage points.

But 63 percent say government workers should pay more for their benefits, including pensions, to help reduce budget deficits. Among union households, 57 percent said benefits should cost more.

On a related issue, the Q-poll found a narrow division on the question of whether the collective bargaining rights of public employees should be limited. Other national polls have shown majorities oppose efforts to restrict bargaining rights, but the Quinnipiac survey showed 45 percent in favor and 42 percent opposed.