There is a flip-side to that, though: The benefits are astounding for anyone who knows how to navigate the system.
Example? My father retired 3 years ago from the VA as a biomed engineer. His pay wasn't that great (though in Arkansas it was well above average given local cost-of-living). The real benefits came in when he was able to 'buy up' a full military retirement from his tour in Vietnam, add his full 30+ year retirement from the VA, and now pulls in something like $6k/mo in pensions after taxes... and this is *before* counting his rather massive 401k that still sits untapped. Oh, and he gets full medical/dental/vision benefits, paid-for.
Dunno about you, but the only way I can think of to get something similar is either to build your own business and sell it for a huge pile of cash, or spend an inordinate amount of time as a day-trader in your off-hours.
The closest I came to working for any government outside of military service was as a teacher (then later as a professor)... again, the pay wasn't the greatest, but the benefits were jaw-dropping (healthcare/vision/dental? free with ridiculously low co-pays. Before the tech school I taught at became a state college, I had three months off each year *with pay* - they had merely averaged my salary over 12 months. Even though I had only worked there six years, I'm still entitled to a small pro-rated pension from the state whenever I decide to retire since I was there at least 5 yrs.)
Notice that I never even mentioned the hours. Overtime is rare unless you're hourly and really want the extra dosh. Your day begins at 7-8am, and ends at 4pm - if that.
Also notice that as long as you never go into management, it's almost impossible for a federal employee to get fired or laid-off, even if you're a total fuck-up; that tends to appeal to the less competent among us. Even at the state level, I often stood with a dropped jaw as my two 'colleagues' demonstrated massive incompetence at CS, yet taught it (example? Every student workstation they had came with a public IP addy w/ no firewalls or proxy present, and they *all* ran Windows NT 4, then Win2k/XP. I was the lone *NIX teacher, but even on the infrastructure level, I never put up with that shit - one public IP addy fed the whole room nicely. My colleagues had to completely re-image their classrooms once every two days or so, mostly due to infections and zombification - and I had to build the imaging server for them, else they would have bought some expensive-assed 3rd-party solution to do it :/ I think you get the idea from there...)
Long story short? Yeah, civil service pay sucks, but it is a nice racket for those who want to get a whole lot for very little effort. You have to really love paper, though.