Really, that's not surprising.
* We're subject to ridiculous pay cuts, that are totally removed from our performance levels. Implementation of the Equal Pay across Councils has meant that as much as 25% of staff are loosing thousands of pounds off their annual salary, and we're expected to work alone to defend ourselves from this since the unions are complicit with the Councils. Link
* Our wages are kept low to 'control inflation in the public sector'.
This year's cost of living pay award was 2% across the public sector, below that of inflation. Link
Maybe this is just my union, who are utterly hopeless.
* In the environmental sector we're expected to do the work because we 'love it' and as such are not given a wage that reflects our skills or responsibility levels. Yes, maybe we do love it, but we have to put food on the table and pay the bills. This difference in pay is evidenced by simply comparing salaries for an administrator at a private firm and one in local gov working for an (underfunded) conservation team for example.
* Workers in the private sector get bonuses, promotions and pay rises for good performance - at least.
I would struggle to work in the private sector though, my perception of it mostly looks like flogging stupid and useless products and lining the pockets of managers. In a world driven solely by money and the pursuit of it.
It's no small wonder that sickness levels are higher among public sector workers. People feel undervalued, are over worked, have no leverage to change their situation (eg pay rises and promotions are few and far between in the public sector because of governing rules and guidance that restricts dynamism).
Yes, we're all screwed over by the work-a-day world in which we have to give over the best and most productive time of our day to fulfil someone else's aims and ambitions. Most of us spend far more time at work than we do at play. Maybe more public sector workers are dreamers, hoping to achieve more for their community with their work day. Maybe that dreamer nature makes it more difficult for us to accept the depressing reality.
Update @ 3pm:
The fog of cynicism and depression is lifting a little. Please forgive my indulgence above ;o)