The government wants to be competitive on the labor market, in order to ensure sufficiently qualified personnel. Therefore it was agreed that the terms of employment development in the public sector can be similar to those in the private sector. The question is whether this is the case in practice, in particular for highly educated employees.

The wages of highly educated in the public sector increased with 39 percent on average between 1996 and 2005. That is less than the wages of comparable workers in comparable positions in the private sector, that have increased by 58 percent.

Wages in the public sector are based on the average development in negotiated wages in the private sector. The actual wages in the private sector have grown faster due to a rising individual wage component between 1996 and 2005. Because the government does not distinguish between job level in the distribution of wages, especially the highly educated fall into arrears. The wages of low skilled have kept pace with the private sector.