Saturday, September 15, 2012

Can Taxpayers Afford The Cost Of The Civil Service?

Municipalities Should Not Enter A 'Bidding War' For Staff

Over the past few decades while we were all enjoying the benefits of living in a financial la-la land few of us were paying attention to some of the sweetheart deals being struck between complacent politicians and the public sector unions who have succeeded in arranging wage and benefit packages that now are looking absolutely crippling and unsustainable.

Justifying outlandish wage and benefit settlements over the years based on the fact that some other community was paying their employees a certain amount, brings to mind the oft posed question of whether you too would jump off the cliff because everyone else is doing it. The lemming running along in the middle or back of the pack maybe employing the same logic our civic 'leaders' have been using these past years. Just because Kelowna is paying their employees another X% is not a very good reason to follow suit.

Ron Lambert, the city Fire Chief is quoted in the Nanaimo Bulletin as saying that the pay in Nanaimo is 'pretty modest' when compared with other communities. I wonder how many Nanaimo households earning $50,000 really think their local firemen earning in excess of $100,000 are really being paid modestly?

If you want to see the end of this nonsense of municipalities engaging in bidding wars for personnel just take a look south of the border to see how well that has worked out for them. If Nanaimo tapayers were paying the estimated 15% tax increase needed to pay for water sewer and roads and then asked to fork out another 5 - 10% to keep the prima donna's happy in the public sector, how long do you think it would be before people started to wake up to what our elected officials have been doing with our money over the past few decades?



  1. It is odd that these civil "servants" and CEOs get such huge salaries and golden parachutes, yet are so inept at their jobs.

    The ferry debacle is a classic example,and there are so many more. The civil servants were going to let the Island rail system grind to a halt because it required a few million dollars to repair a small section of the track.

    Some people thought it could make a nice hiking trail!

    It took the voluntary efforts of the Young Professionals of Nanaimo to save the strikingly obviously necessary rail system. Now we can look forward to taking the train to Victoria, AND even new scheduling so that we can travel there and back in one day, which makes economic and common sense, and will bring more revenue to Nanaimo.

    But it was the unpaid public that achieved this, not the high-priced 'expert' civil servants.

    Now our experts, namely the Nanaimo Port Authority Board, have decided it can't afford to subsidize our harbour, so they are off-loading it to a company owned by a billionaire American businessman, privatizing it with a THIRTY year lease, during which time the canny American has promised to invest a paltry $9 million, and rake in profits our leaders are incapable of doing themselves.

    We taxpayers pay them huge salaries to sell off our precious assets for what amounts to a string of beads.

    1. Justyna Katelnikoff16 September, 2012 10:14 AM
      "It took the voluntary efforts of the Young Professionals of Nanaimo to save the strikingly obviously necessary rail system."

      YPN were involved in fundraising in order to assist the Island Corridor Foundation in the restoration of the train station in Nanaimo after it was damaged due to fire. A new pub now operates in this building.

  2. First, I am not a firefighter. And of course people are entitled to their opinions, and it is clear in these blogs where some people put value. Again, that is fair. But in my opinion, Fireman are also first responders and there is a public perception that they sit around waiting for fires. These men and women save lives outside of their 'fire role'. My opinion, but I would hope the above people do not call an ambulance in distress. If the fireman saves their son, daughter, mother, father or grandparent... would that justify a certain salary.

    1. Does the department really need all the $100,000 + 'chiefs', and are those salaries justified?
      As far as value to society is concerned, why are the people who provide our food, something none of us can live without, considered as being worth so much less than the exalted firemen?
      Yes, they are well trained, and they are very well paid for what they do. To say they are 'modestly' paid is certainly difficult to swallow given the current economic climate, and hardships those of us who have to pay their 'modest' wages have to deal with.


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