Franz Rothenbacher
Quality of Life of Public Servants in European Comparison

Rhodes University, Grahamstown / South Africa

The aim of the presentation is to examine the objective living conditions in the public services and their subjective perception by public servants themselves in several European countries by the use of large-scale comparative data sets like the ECHP and the Labour Force Survey. It seeks to give an answer to the open question, if there really is a decline in the objective living conditions (income, pensions, working time, etc.) caused by reforms to stabilize public finances with regard to demographic ageing. It furthermore intends to investigate, if the subjective perceptions by public employees with their social and work position is declining as well. Thus, are public employees getting less satisfied with their life in general, their income and working conditions, among others, during the last two decades? Thus, the paper investigates the living conditions of public servants in a way as broad as possible (e.g. income, working conditions, housing, health, pensions, family relationships, etc.) and looks at the subjective perception (satisfaction) of these living conditions. Earlier analyses could show that satisfaction in the public sector is higher than in the private, that females working in the public sector are more satisfied than when working in the private sector, that females working in the public sector are more satisfied than men working in the public sector. The main predictors for these results are a permanent job and the level of income. The presentation should look at the temporal development of satisfaction of public employees. Is there really a decline of satisfaction in the public sector with income, working conditions. Do public employees really reflect the step-by-step worsening of employment conditions in the public sector by their subjective perceptions?