I and the others engaged in this work begin employment currently making about $25,000 annually and top at about $50,000 after 20 years. Median annual compensation is in the range of the low $30,000s, given the high rate of turnover. This is far from the compensation averages cited.
Despite this, the college educated (some with graduate degrees) "public workers" in this local endeavor alone regularly help the commonwealth save many tens of millions of dollars yearly by reducing the need for institutionalization of those we serve. Add to this additional millions of dollars saved in measures taken to reduce re-hospitalizations and the return on investment is staggering.
I hope your more enlightened readers will recognize the limited perspective from which your columnist writes in his assault on the value of "public workers."