Sunday, June 17, 2012

Can The Public Afford The Public Service?

 Compare Public Sector Wages and Benefits 
With Private Sector Counterparts

Federal Employees Earn 40% More
Municipal Employees Earn 35% More
Provincial Employees Earn 24% More

The following is an excerpt from a Province article which points to a very serious problem that has quietly grown out of the glare of public scrutiny, and that is how well the public service have feathered their nests. Quietly, they have been able to get compliant elected officials (who should be watching the public purse) to agree to wages and benefits the 'real' world simply can't afford.

Bringing this closer to home, a few years back Mr. Berry was able to retire from his job early and walk away with nearly half a million tax dollars! The pension that is available to over 30% of existing city staff is well beyond what anyone working in the private sector could dream of.


The Province article leads off with:

Last week it was revealed that tax-payers paid $1.2 billion in severance to federal civil servants who continued working, retired or quit their jobs in 2011.

Do we need further evidence that the system of public-sector negotiating is broken, and that those who negotiate on behalf of taxpayers have failed to protect them?

Not only does paying severance to those who quit defy the norms in private-sector compensation, it defies common sense. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to special perks for public employees. Bankable sick days, "bridge benefits" that effectively give full CPP payments for early retirement, and provisions that allow employees to quit one day and return to work the next so they can collect a paycheque and a pension at the same time ("double dipping") are common goodies paid for by taxpayers who don't get to enjoy them.


The most recent city contract with CUPE is another example of how or if, the keepers of the public purse (your council) made any real effort to control the cost of wages being paid at city hall. If you were to compare the cost of living index over the past nine years, and compare that with the wage and benefit increases 'negotiated' at city hall I think you will find city hall exempt and non-exempt staff have done quite well for themselves.

The question of course, is whether the 'average' Nanaimo household can afford to pay these ever-increasing wages while their own incomes are at a standstill at best, or going backward at worst.

allvoices

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