Author Topic: Public sector wages  (Read 3053 times)

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Offline Eaglelord17

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Public sector wages
« on: May 04, 2019, 09:37:07 »
Hi all,

Just thought I would try and develop my thoughts on a topic I have been musing with recently.

So I was reading the public service just rejected a 1.5% raise every year for the next 4 years and I can't help but think of the ever steadily growing pay gap between public service employees (all levels of government, police, politicians, clerks, etc.) and private sector employees.

For example my current workplace the agreed upon wage increase for the 5 years the union agreement spanned was 0% for the first two years, 1% for the third year, and 2% for the last 2 years, equaling out to 5% 5 years later. The public service in this case is rejecting a 6% increase over 4 years which is already much better than what many in the private sector will be receiving. In this case that's 1% more than what my wage increase would be and it is a year less than what mine is. And this is just what was rejected, odds are they shall end up with a better wage increase than that.

So my thoughts are why not tie the income of public service jobs into the national average income. So how this would work is say your a police officer, your average wage would be something like 1.5x the national average, a politician would be something like 3x the national average, etc.

What this would do is cause public sector wages to respond to how the private sector is as opposed to not being tied into it and always increasing (when has the public sector ever had wages drop?), remove Unions from holding the government and people hostage (being able to strike on public services is ridiculous as you are literally holding the tax payer hostage), and prevent the government from being able to dictate their own wages (look at how many times in the last while where politicians voted for their own wage increases even well everyone else is on a pay freeze). It also means that you don't have to waste time negotiating wages as they would be set in stone.

Curious as to what peoples thoughts are on the topic.

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2019, 09:40:35 »
Hmmm.....been in the public service for the last 30 years.  Can't see the Auto Workers taking all the zeros I've taken over that time.
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Offline Remius

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2019, 10:56:33 »
The Phoenix fiasco is a main reason why the union is asking for more.  They want compensation that from the government.

Imagine what would happen in the private sector if you failed to pay your people for years, messed up their lives permanently and have no real outlook to solving it.   
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Offline mariomike

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2019, 11:07:38 »
So my thoughts are why not tie the income of public service jobs into the national average income. So how this would work is say your a police officer, your average wage would be something like 1.5x the national average, a politician would be something like 3x the national average, etc.

In emergency services ( at least in Metro ) we did not have, and did not seek, the right to strike.

In its place is the the arbitration system.

Reference to the discussion,

Quote
April 8, 2011

Escalating Emergency Services Labour Costs and the Ontario Taxpayers’ Ability to Pay

Looking at these years, the cumulative wage increases for police, fire and paramedics have clearly exceeded the other cumulative increases.

Consider that the emergency
services exceeded these comparators between 2005 and 2010 as follows:
· CPI by 77% (Police), 89% (Fire) and 110% (EMS);
· Average public sector increases by 19% (Police), 27% (Fire) and 41% (EMS);
· ONA Nurses by approximately 6% (Police), 13% (Fire) and 25% (EMS);
· Teachers by approximately 33% (Police), 42% (Fire) and 58% (EMS);
· OPSEU (OPS) by 43% (Police), 53% (Fire) and 70% (EMS);
· CUPE by 11.5% (Police), 19% (Fire) and 32% (EMS)

A similar trend exists with respect to benefit increases within the emergency services sector.

It is the ESSC’s view, based on the reported interest arbitration awards, that arbitrators and
arbitration boards have focused more on the benefit entitlements of emergency services
personnel in other municipalities rather than on the benefit entitlements of non-emergency
services employees (and even non-union employees) employed in the same municipality.
https://www.amo.on.ca/AMO-PDFs/Reports/2011/2011AbilitytoPayPositionPaper2011.aspx


Offline Eaglelord17

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2019, 11:33:56 »
Obviously you aren't going to get a perfect example as some workplaces will have been doing better than others. But even with the auto sector for example they probally aren't doing to well if they are at the Oshawa plant. I can name a bunch of private sector jobs where the wages went down over the years, and others that went up. Some went under, some boomed. The example I provided is likely somewhere towards the middle, but my current job is also loaded with a large lack of job security as it is a cyclical industry, its either booming or your all laid off.

Public sector is security, the job is guaranteed. Its next to impossible to be fired from many of these job once your in it. Stability, extremely well paying with tons of benefits and basically the only place with top notch pensions anymore.

My idea is simply fairly limiting the wages to ensure they don't greatly exceed the private sector as ultimately they are the one who is paying the bills, which would be reflected in the national average income. It would prevent politicians from doing things like giving yourself a 25% raise well the province is on a pay freeze (Wynne) etc.


I understand the issues with Phoenix system, and to me it is complete garbage. Everyone involved in it should be fired. Monies owed should be paid back with interest and any fees or debts incurred due to lack of pay should be paid as well. But ultimately this isn't what this thread is about, I am more targeting the concept of having a fixed amount for jobs not rectifying previous issues.

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2019, 11:52:25 »
'Almost impossible to get fired?"  We follow the exact same rules as any other workplace in Canada so you are already starting your argument off with a lack of knowledge.
If management does thier job and a solid case is made the best I can do as a Union Steward is try and soften the landing.  Those don't make the news of course...you are pretensing on cases you've seen in the news where folks got their jobs back who clearly shouldn't have.  Like anything rare, that makes the news.  Unions don't keep people's jobs, we certainly don't have that power, but we can ensure those who are supervising our workplaces follow guidelines.
And really, that's a bad thing?
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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2019, 12:02:18 »
Perhaps public service wage increases could be tied to the provincial average salary changes, year over year. For example, the MB industrial average in 2015 was $44,869.24, and in 2016 was $45,768.84. The year over year improvement for that cycle is 2%. The cycle before that was 4%, and before that it was 2.6%. Generous I know, but let's say 1/2 the the change, as a modifying factor, and you still get decent increases. I know that makes it hard for the employer to budget, but it's at least driven by a formula that's understandable, and based in reality.
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Offline mariomike

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2019, 13:09:10 »
Public sector is security, the job is guaranteed. Its next to impossible to be fired from many of these job once your in it. Stability, extremely well paying with tons of benefits and basically the only place with top notch pensions anymore.

Some people believed it was almost impossible to get kicked out. That unless you became a public disgrace, they would tolerate almost anything.

But, in the union's grievance of the dismissal of a co-worker, the arbitrator ruled,

Quote
Certain jobs require a high level of skill and a high level of trust from both the employer and the public. For employees working in those types of positions, it’s possible that off-duty behaviour can call into question that trust, if it demonstrates poor judgment. And if an employer no longer has confidence that an employee has the judgment to perform a job of high skill and responsibility, the result could be dismissal.
https://www.hrreporter.com/columnist/employment-law/archive/2013/04/22/professional-conduct-outside-of-profession/




Offline AbdullahD

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2019, 14:19:50 »
Regarding the right to strike.. some private sector jobs are not allowed to strike and in the opinion of some employees who work those jobs, the employer uses it as a weapon knowing the employee can not "walk off".

Also, I'm not sure how old you are etc.. but sometimes pay isn't everything. When comparing public vs private sector jobs look at the benfits both groups have or do not have and the difference that makes... i.e if I make the exact same amount of money as someone doing another job... but I have medical, dental, life benefits, a defined benefit pension plan and I start with 4 weeks paid vacation instead of two.. well I am really laughing heck with all that if i only make 80% of what someone without all that makes I'm doing "ok".

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Offline mariomike

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2019, 14:45:40 »
Also, I'm not sure how old you are etc.. but sometimes pay isn't everything. When comparing public vs private sector jobs look at the benfits both groups have or do not have and the difference that makes... i.e if I make the exact same amount of money as someone doing another job... but I have medical, dental, life benefits, a defined benefit pension plan and I start with 4 weeks paid vacation instead of two.. well I am really laughing heck with all that if i only make 80% of what someone without all that makes I'm doing "ok".

Sick Bank Gratuity is another example. Something not really thought of, until you retire.

 

Offline meni0n

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2019, 09:43:41 »
Hi all,

Just thought I would try and develop my thoughts on a topic I have been musing with recently.

So I was reading the public service just rejected a 1.5% raise every year for the next 4 years and I can't help but think of the ever steadily growing pay gap between public service employees (all levels of government, police, politicians, clerks, etc.) and private sector employees.

For example my current workplace the agreed upon wage increase for the 5 years the union agreement spanned was 0% for the first two years, 1% for the third year, and 2% for the last 2 years, equaling out to 5% 5 years later. The public service in this case is rejecting a 6% increase over 4 years which is already much better than what many in the private sector will be receiving. In this case that's 1% more than what my wage increase would be and it is a year less than what mine is. And this is just what was rejected, odds are they shall end up with a better wage increase than that.

So my thoughts are why not tie the income of public service jobs into the national average income. So how this would work is say your a police officer, your average wage would be something like 1.5x the national average, a politician would be something like 3x the national average, etc.

What this would do is cause public sector wages to respond to how the private sector is as opposed to not being tied into it and always increasing (when has the public sector ever had wages drop?), remove Unions from holding the government and people hostage (being able to strike on public services is ridiculous as you are literally holding the tax payer hostage), and prevent the government from being able to dictate their own wages (look at how many times in the last while where politicians voted for their own wage increases even well everyone else is on a pay freeze). It also means that you don't have to waste time negotiating wages as they would be set in stone.

Curious as to what peoples thoughts are on the topic.

Have you actually done any research on how the public service works and how many classifications and steps there are?

I don't quiet understand what you are proposing. Are you talking about household median? You want to pay clerks and IT staff the same amount of money? How does that make any sense?

Offline Eaglelord17

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2019, 14:02:52 »
Have you actually done any research on how the public service works and how many classifications and steps there are?

I don't quiet understand what you are proposing. Are you talking about household median? You want to pay clerks and IT staff the same amount of money? How does that make any sense?

I am not proposing every single job have the same wage. The intent would be to figure out a fair point for someones salary to be tied to.

A clerk wouldn't be paid the same as IT. A cop wouldn't be paid the same as a Teacher. The idea would be to tie every government paid profession (including the military) to a fixed average based off the national average income. This would allow those wages to contract and expand based off of how the rest of the country is doing and prevent the gradual creep of government wages.

This isn't about benefits, its simply proposing a way to ensure government wages don't run rampant well private wages stagnant or drop.

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2019, 14:43:39 »
This isn't about benefits, its simply proposing a way to ensure government wages don't run rampant well private wages stagnant or drop.

Sometimes, an "I pay your salary" type would say something like, "I don't have it, so you shouldn't either."

Never any anger directed towards the financiers. More about cannibalizing gains made by other working people.

It was no use arguing with them. But, maybe they should have asked themselves, "They have it - why don't I?"

It's not a race to the bottom.

« Last Edit: May 05, 2019, 15:14:41 by mariomike »

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2019, 15:49:16 »
Why would you tie a miltary trades persons salary to someone in the private sector who paid out of pocket to learn their craft?

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Offline meni0n

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2019, 16:29:58 »
Why would you tie a public servant's salary to the performance of private companies and how the amount of raises they give their employees.

Offline ballz

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2019, 02:01:43 »
Traditionally, public sector always paid slightly lower than the private sector. It competed for labour on the basis of job security, better and more stable ours, better benefits like pad leave and better pensions, etc.

This is no longer the case. Public sector jobs nowadays are absolutely, hands down, some of the best jobs available, particularly the ones that are low-skill. Compare the life of someone who works privately laying asphalt to that of someone on a city crew as an example.

Of course, we should always be trying to get the best bang for our buck and I demand any government to do it's absolutely best to keep the cost of human resources down, just like every other cost. But we also need to know what we want out of our public service.... because cheaper ain't always better. Right now, we allegedly have the most effective civil service in the world, so if we are paying more money in theory for better employees and more effectiveness, well, that's the cost of better human resources and more effectiveness.

https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/publications/international-civil-service-effectiveness-incise-index-2017

I find myself rather conflicted with all this, of course, considering the previous Auditor-General roasted the public service, and anything he said that I am privy too, I've observed in the DND (both civilian and CAF...). And the things that I am not privy too, his observations seemed pretty compelling.


'Almost impossible to get fired?"  We follow the exact same rules as any other workplace in Canada so you are already starting your argument off with a lack of knowledge.

I will say that I have to disagree here with your assertion and that he is not at all out to lunch. The former Auditor-General Michael Ferguson and the former Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick also supported his point about a year ago, quite publicly. Government has no skin in the game like private companies who need to be competitive to survive, and accountability suffers for it. Same rules or not (which is not accurate, because collective bargaining ultimately brings in more "stuff," the laws alone are not the only rules in play), the culture is very different and not in a good way, and this was made pretty clear in a damning report by the AG.

It is unfortunately ironic that the Phoenix pay system which so many people have had to suffer for, as an example, was a self-inflicted wound that the Public Service did to itself out of its own incompetence.

And I'll add here again, I don't think the CAF is much better in this regard. I think the CAF suffers from the exact same problems the AG nailed the public service for.

And not surprisingly, after being roasted by the AG for lack of accountability, the Clerk Michael Wernick tried to deny it and said the AG's audit was just an "opinion piece." It was embarrassing quite frankly, but he did eventually fold and admitted the rules of regarding accountability in the public service should be looked at by Parliament. https://ipolitics.ca/2018/06/20/top-bureaucrat-says-parliament-should-look-at-changing-ps-rules-for-firing/
« Last Edit: May 06, 2019, 02:08:56 by ballz »
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Offline ballz

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2019, 02:12:27 »
Why would you tie a public servant's salary to the performance of private companies the private sector as a whole and how the amount of raises they give their employees.

He has answered that pretty clearly, did you actually read his posts?
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Offline Eaglelord17

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2019, 06:14:57 »
Why would you tie a public servant's salary to the performance of private companies and how the amount of raises they give their employees.

It would be tied to the whole private sector. The reason being that ultimately they are the ones providing the public sector with jobs, and paying the salary. Why should the public sector gradually creep up faster and faster, well the private sector stagnates or declines? Why shouldn't the two be linked is a fairer question.

Why would you tie a miltary trades persons salary to someone in the private sector who paid out of pocket to learn their craft?
It would be tying everyone in the governments wage to a fixed average. That average might just equal out to what the pay currently is for whatever job it is and just lock it in place.

The proposed idea would bring about accountability to the public sector that can be lacking (such as politicians deciding their own wages and wage increases), and set a fair and easy to understand model which would keep the private sector and public sector linked. This makes sense as one pays for the other, but currently there is no connection between the two.

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2019, 08:55:47 »
First of, private sector is not paying for the wages of the public sector. It is the government paying wages, private sector is not providing any jobs to the public sector, so get off the high horse there. Secondly, while I am in a classification that would greatly benefit from what you are proposing, I still don't see any sense in what you are proposing. Just because a company mismanaged its performance and doesn't provide pay increases to its employees, somehow that would also reflect on public sector wages because that would influence the national average, albeit not much but to make these dependent on each makes no sense at all. What about some companies that provide bonuses based on performance, that bonus is not part of the base salary, how would you go about taking that into account. Private sector or private companies base everything on one thing, performance and profits. Why would public service salaries be tied to that?

You seem to be one of those snowflakes that thinks they're paying for public service or military wages. Get over yourself, you're paying taxes to the government, which then decides what to do with them.

Offline mariomike

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2019, 09:20:27 »
Compare the life of someone who works privately laying asphalt to that of someone on a city crew as an example.

Ok

From the Sunshine List,

City of Toronto
Asphalt Concrete Worker

Salary Paid $ 101,094.58
Taxable Benefits $ 479.35

Not sure how that compares to the private sector?

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2019, 09:50:55 »
Ok

From the Sunshine List,

City of Toronto
Asphalt Concrete Worker

Salary Paid $ 101,094.58
Taxable Benefits $ 479.35

Not sure how that compares to the private sector?

Now that's not fair.  I've made the sunshine list a few times,and it's certainly not because I made over $50 an hour, it's because I sacrificed a lot of my personal time to do overtime .  Overtime that others didn't take but, just like an asphalt worker filling potholes, it needs someone to do it.
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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2019, 10:04:28 »
You realize that with the exception of politicians (who set their own salary) and military (who's salaries are dictated), everyone else has bargained for their salary? Not sure how you would swing taking away their right to negotiate the salary without a massive Charter challenge.

Also, from a practical standpoint, the median fluctuates all the time (up and down). How would anyone budget for that? It would be a nightmare for employees, and a huge issue for setting and managing a budget. Not sure if it would save any money, but you would create a big HR machine to try and constantly manage all the issues that would come up.

Finally, if you are talking about police, are you looking all the way down to the municipal level for government employees?  If you look at federal, provincial, and local government employees, that could hit a few million. Those people all pay taxes, and all contribute to the infrastucture and other things needed for private sector to generate widgets. Countries without roads, power, sewage, security and all the other stuff government employees do don't really have much in the way of private sector growth.

For reference, in my particular field I'm looking at about a 20% pay raise (or more) if I switch to private sector, but it's a balance of benefits and stability that makes working for the man attractive. As a kid I remember how the auto workers rode the boom and were really well paid compared to anyone else with some crazy benefits, which is something they negotiated when times were good. They were getting a lot more than a 1.5% raise, and were getting their divorces and other stuff covered, so you need to consider the context when looking at negotiations. Federal employees have had their pays completely messed up for years, and because the GoC is protected against lawsuits by the unions by legislation, they have very limited recourse.  If that had happened in the private sector, you could have had a massive class action lawsuit with tens of thousands of people on the bill and hundred million+ liability, so you can't really compare the negotiation between the two.


Offline mariomike

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2019, 10:07:10 »
Now that's not fair. 

Was not meant to be not fair. I thought most understood the Sunshine List includes OT.

As of 1 Jan. 2015, City of Toronto Asphalt Concrete Workers earned $29.78 / hr.

Edit to add January 1,2016, to December 31, 2019 wages increases,
https://local416.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/City-of-Toronto-Local-416-FINAL-Memorandum-of-Settlement-Appendix-A-B-February-19-2016.pdf
« Last Edit: May 06, 2019, 10:52:41 by mariomike »

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2019, 10:18:45 »
Can also include a grievance settlement.
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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2019, 10:29:45 »
Paid Duty is, now, also included.

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #25 on: May 06, 2019, 11:22:16 »
You realize that with the exception of politicians (who set their own salary) and military (who's salaries are dictated), everyone else has bargained for their salary? Not sure how you would swing taking away their right to negotiate the salary without a massive Charter challenge.

The RCMP are another exception- roughly 18,000 RCMP regular (ie police) members who have never collectively bargained, and you can see the difference in RCMP compensation versus other police services. In fact the RCMP act forbade collective bargaining, which was eventually successfully challenged all the way through the Supreme Court, who ruled it a breach of the Charter right to freedom of association. The RCMP are now in the process of unionizing as a result.
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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #26 on: May 06, 2019, 11:34:31 »
Yup....you guys have taken it dry for a long time.
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Offline mariomike

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2019, 12:13:25 »
The RCMP are now in the process of unionizing as a result.

This was the last I read about that,

CBC News

Dec 20, 2018

Mounties wrap up vote today to select a new labour union
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/rcmp-union-drive-deadline-1.4952411
The RCMP are the only major non-unionized police force in Canada.

Has any progress been made?

See also,

RCMP union bid headed to Supreme Court 
https://navy.ca/forums/index.php/topic,26078.0/nowap.html
2 pages.

Offline Petard

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #28 on: May 06, 2019, 12:25:32 »
The situation with the RCMP, and why communities have turned to them, is somewhat tied I think to what the OP is getting at, but restricting their ability to negotiate those wages is flawed for a lot reasons.  Most communities can’t afford police services due to their cost, other than the somewhat subsidized federal government one, and the government does take advantage of that to a degree

Arbitration bargaining for police services, particularly in Ontario, does not consider the community’s tax base to sustain it, rather it is primarily based on what the “going wage” is for those services compared to other communities. In most cases I think it’s doubtful the smaller towns could afford their own, and therefore have to rely on a provincial or federal force

Thing is, there are consequences to “going on the cheap”. The federal government has doubled down in not only limiting the RCMP’s wages, but by also limiting the size of the force it deploys, increasing stress on its officers. Here’s a good for instance:
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/investigations/rcmp-contract-policing-investigation/article38085153/

So once they do achieve a means to bargain fairly, I think it will improve their working conditions, but the tax burden will certainly go up as well. I’m not sure what it might take to get the cost of police services to better take into account what a community can actually afford, but an arbitration method that did properly take that into account still seems to me the best approach, otherwise you’re going to have a lot of burnt out LEO’s and alll the consequences that’ll entail.

I don’t know that you can necessarily equate police services to some type of civilian employment, although something like that was done in the military. Sometime  in the early 90’s, a study was done to tie all military trades to something measurable in the Public Service. Consequently military wages are linked to any bargaining ability of the Public Service, or pay freezes or other negative consequences (severance for e.g.)
« Last Edit: May 06, 2019, 12:52:05 by Petard »

Offline Colin P

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #29 on: May 06, 2019, 12:27:48 »
I just retired from the Public Service. We do pay our clerical staff well and above average. However anyone with a technical skill or certificate (such as a marine ticket) is paid below the industry average. It's almost impossible for us to hire them. We used to be able to offer stability and pension in exchange, that is going away and coupled with Phoenix I can't recommend anyone with such certificate to go work for the Public Service.   

Offline mariomike

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #30 on: May 06, 2019, 12:38:19 »
The situation with the RCMP, and why communities have turned to them, is somewhat tied I think to what the OP is getting at.

Regarding the RCMP and community policing,

Surrey is saying goodbye to the RCMP, ostensibly because of a) cost and b) lack of community identity with its police force.
https://globalnews.ca/news/4779722/surrey-budget-rcmp-hiring-freeze/


Offline Brihard

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #31 on: May 06, 2019, 12:41:19 »
The situation with the RCMP, and why communities have turned to them, is somewhat tied I think to what the OP is getting at.

Very few communities have 'turned to' the RCMP. A couple small ones have, but presently the RCMP's single largest contract detachment, Surrey, B.C., is moving decisively to create a municipal police service- that's about 800 fewer uniformed Mountie position. However, yes, the RCMP is cheaper, both in terms of absolute wages (an RCMP constable 1st class makes $86k versus over $100k for most big municipal services), as well as the 10% subsidy the federal government pays for any RCMP contract police agreements in large municipalities. Mounties are quite a lot cheaper- but this will change once there's a pay agreement negotiated.

This was the last I read about that,

Has any progress been made?

See also,

RCMP union bid headed to Supreme Court 
https://navy.ca/forums/index.php/topic,26078.0/nowap.html
2 pages.

It's a mess. In a nutshell
- RCMP won the right to unionize.
- The SCC struck down the part of the RCMP act that said they couldn't, and gave the government a year to pass legislation before the law would be void.
- The government failed to pass a law in time, and the RCMP reverted to the Public Service Labour Relations Act.
- Shortly after that happened the Quebec Mounted Police Members Association got enough votes from members in Quebec, and filed to unionize members in Quebec, which would necessitate a vote by all members in the proposed bargaining unit (Mounties in Quebec, not sure on ranks).
- Shortly after that, the National Police Federation got enough votes from members nationally , and filed to unionize members across Canada, which would necessitate a vote by all sworn Mounties Staff Sergeant and below.
- Then, the government amended the Public Service Labour Relations Act and said the regular members of the RCMP may be represented by a single bargaining agent across the force.
- The QMPMA has challenged this through the PS Labour Relations and Employment Board as a breach of their freedom of association.
- In the meantime, a vote was held nationally for the NPF. This finished in November 2018, and the results are sealed pending the results of the Quebec challenge.

One of two things will happen:
- The PSLREB will rule against the Quebec guys and the NPF vote will stand- I see no conceivable way it wouldn't be a 'yes', as NPF signed up well over half of all RCMP members. This would unionize all RCMP SSgt and below under NPF. Quebec association could continue to fight through the courts, but I think they would lose.
- The PSLREB rules in favour of QMPMA. All of the RCMP outside of Quebec would then still unionize under the NPF, and Quebec would have to go to a separate vote, probably a run-off between QMPMA and NPF. At this point it's widely believed that NPF have more membership in Quebec that the QMPMA- that events simply overtook the Quebec association. But they're fighting it to the very last.

Unfortunately he result of this is that RCMP unionization has been delayed by well over a year.  Once the PSLREB rules and the vote is opened and tallied, whatever and presuming the NPF gets a 'yes' (they should), they will then file a notice of intent to collectively bargain, which will kick off a multi year process of electing a union executive and representation down the whole structure, and somehow negotiating a contract that will meaningfully capture issues across Canada and internationally, in detachments from 800+ to 2 people, in units that do everything from police big cities and small towns, to protecting the Prime Minister, putting air marshals on planes, patrolling the Canadian border, investigating terrorism, investigating serious and organized crime, protecting embassies and VIPs, maritime law enforcement, and pretty much everything else police can conceivably do in Canada. It's going to be something to see.
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Offline mariomike

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #32 on: May 06, 2019, 13:11:20 »
It's a mess. In a nutshell
- RCMP won the right to unionize.
- The SCC struck down the part of the RCMP act that said they couldn't, and gave the government a year to pass legislation before the law would be void.
- The government failed to pass a law in time, and the RCMP reverted to the Public Service Labour Relations Act.
- Shortly after that happened the Quebec Mounted Police Members Association got enough votes from members in Quebec, and filed to unionize members in Quebec, which would necessitate a vote by all members in the proposed bargaining unit (Mounties in Quebec, not sure on ranks).
- Shortly after that, the National Police Federation got enough votes from members nationally , and filed to unionize members across Canada, which would necessitate a vote by all sworn Mounties Staff Sergeant and below.
- Then, the government amended the Public Service Labour Relations Act and said the regular members of the RCMP may be represented by a single bargaining agent across the force.
- The QMPMA has challenged this through the PS Labour Relations and Employment Board as a breach of their freedom of association.
- In the meantime, a vote was held nationally for the NPF. This finished in November 2018, and the results are sealed pending the results of the Quebec challenge.

One of two things will happen:
- The PSLREB will rule against the Quebec guys and the NPF vote will stand- I see no conceivable way it wouldn't be a 'yes', as NPF signed up well over half of all RCMP members. This would unionize all RCMP SSgt and below under NPF. Quebec association could continue to fight through the courts, but I think they would lose.
- The PSLREB rules in favour of QMPMA. All of the RCMP outside of Quebec would then still unionize under the NPF, and Quebec would have to go to a separate vote, probably a run-off between QMPMA and NPF. At this point it's widely believed that NPF have more membership in Quebec that the QMPMA- that events simply overtook the Quebec association. But they're fighting it to the very last.

Unfortunately he result of this is that RCMP unionization has been delayed by well over a year.  Once the PSLREB rules and the vote is opened and tallied, whatever and presuming the NPF gets a 'yes' (they should), they will then file a notice of intent to collectively bargain, which will kick off a multi year process of electing a union executive and representation down the whole structure, and somehow negotiating a contract that will meaningfully capture issues across Canada and internationally, in detachments from 800+ to 2 people, in units that do everything from police big cities and small towns, to protecting the Prime Minister, putting air marshals on planes, patrolling the Canadian border, investigating terrorism, investigating serious and organized crime, protecting embassies and VIPs, maritime law enforcement, and pretty much everything else police can conceivably do in Canada. It's going to be something to see.

An interesting read. Especially considering Toronto Police unionized in Sept. 1918.

( Toronto firefighters on Aug. 22, 1918. And Toronto paramedics on October 22, 1917. )

You will get there too, eventually.



Offline Colin P

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #33 on: May 06, 2019, 13:57:35 »
I think Surry will be in a for sticker price shock if they do switch and the mayor is losing support for the move as the detail trickle out.

Offline Brihard

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #34 on: May 06, 2019, 14:50:06 »
I think Surry will be in a for sticker price shock if they do switch and the mayor is losing support for the move as the detail trickle out.

No kidding. Losing the federal subsidy, and accepting that Surrey would need to pay equitably with local municipal counterparts, they would probably looking at a 25% increase just in salary costs for the same number of officers. I'll be curious to see how this plays out. Though then again, all BC municipalities have been warned to start planning ahead for increased labour costs for their RCMP detachments once there's a collective agreement...
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline Eaglelord17

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #35 on: May 06, 2019, 21:29:25 »
Private sector or private companies base everything on one thing, performance and profits. Why would public service salaries be tied to that?
Because those happen to be the people actually creating money for the government, without whom there would be no public service as there would be no funds to pay for it

You seem to be one of those snowflakes that thinks they're paying for public service or military wages. Get over yourself, you're paying taxes to the government, which then decides what to do with them.

I might not directly be paying money into the public service, I am indirectly though. Without the private sector to support the public sector there would be no public sector. If everyone and thing in the private sector stopped paying taxes, your job and income would seize to exist. As a taxpaying citizen, I have the right to be concerned about where my tax dollars are spent, and a constantly expanding bureaucracy whose wages are constantly increasing out of line with the public that pays for them is a concern for me. Especially when as a nation our debt is expanding without any sort of attempt to rein it in. I don't appreciate the insults though, I however have enough class to focus on the debate instead of ad hominem attacks.

For the point of it being difficult to budget based off the average income, you would have to set it up to say have at least a 2 year delay to ensure the data is accurately collected, much like how for this year statistics are mostly from 2017 and earlier the same would have to be done for the income as it is the only way to predictively do it. Possibly 3 years out (so say if it was the 2020 wage, it would be the 2017 income) so there can be better planning.

The legal questions are a more difficult one to answer. I am not a lawyer by any means, but you wouldn't necessarily be taking away the right to associate or bargain, you would be taking away one section of what they are allowed to bargain. I don't know if that would fly in a court of law or not, but it would be interesting to watch.

I actually am enjoying this debate as there are many interesting points being brought up that I hadn't considered (such as the possible legal consequences). Any more potential thoughts on what could be some good, bad, or otherwise complicated points?


Offline ballz

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #36 on: May 06, 2019, 21:40:27 »
First of, private sector is not paying for the wages of the public sector. It is the government paying wages, private sector is not providing any jobs to the public sector, so get off the high horse there. Secondly, while I am in a classification that would greatly benefit from what you are proposing, I still don't see any sense in what you are proposing. Just because a company mismanaged its performance and doesn't provide pay increases to its employees, somehow that would also reflect on public sector wages because that would influence the national average, albeit not much but to make these dependent on each makes no sense at all. What about some companies that provide bonuses based on performance, that bonus is not part of the base salary, how would you go about taking that into account. Private sector or private companies base everything on one thing, performance and profits. Why would public service salaries be tied to that?

You seem to be one of those snowflakes that thinks they're paying for public service or military wages. Get over yourself, you're paying taxes to the government, which then decides what to do with them.

The only person who seems to be on a high horse around here is you. You were clearly biased by self-interest from the start. I understand why in many contexts, someone saying "I pay your salary" is received negatively... it's usually when things are gone wrong, someone's upset with you for something outside your control, you're doing the best you can, etc. So I get why it's received negatively sometimes.... hell, I've had it happen in a manner that still irritates me to think of it.

But despite that, no one, civilian or CAF, should forget that it's the truth. And in this context, it's entirely appropriate to recognize that as part of the discussion. The OP was talking about a legitimate topic in a non-hostile manner, not yelling at a front line worker because the line-up was too long.

We're paid by Canadians, many of whom are struggling to care for themselves and their loved ones. I live a pretty financially well-off life, it seems the rest of those in my building do as well, and I would never be so ungrateful enough to forget who is paying for it. If you want to sell yourself a falsehood about being paid by a non-human entity called "government" and not actual Canadians, even though over 90% of government revenue is collected through taxation and the other 9-10% is earned through assets purchased with that taxation, just to shelter yourself from having to defend how much value you are or aren't bringing to the table each day it's you who needs to change their perspective. As a taxpayer, the OP is both a shareholder of the Crown (voter) and the investor in the Crown (through his/her own hard-earned money), and has every bit of skin in the game to demand the government doesn't let public salaries grow out of control or to question the value he's receiving in return. The more we remind ourselves of this the better off we'll all be, and maybe if we had done so more often it could have avoided the damning report from the Auditor-General.... which was pretty good substantiation to yell "I pay your salary" at a few folks.

On top of that, Canadians are also the "customers" so to speak, without whom to provide services for, we'd also all be unemployed. Ask any business owner and they're probably pretty hesitant to disregard their customers.... except for Air Canada.
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Offline meni0n

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #37 on: May 06, 2019, 21:42:34 »
Everyone else are paying taxes as well. You seem to think that just because you work in the private sector that your rights are somehow more important than the rights of the people working in the public service. Just because you disagree with how compensation is done for the public service, doesn't mean that taking away the rights of public service workers the right to bargain for how they are compensated is justified or right. If you can provide some proof that public service compensation is somehow grossly out of line with private sector, please provide it otherwise you are just basing it on your own point of view.

You are upset that public service gets to bargain for their pay raises while you in the private sector did not so you want to take it out on the public servants to limit their rights and freedoms instead of maybe trying to fix your own situation. To me you come across as very vindictive in how you approach the whole situation.

Offline ballz

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #38 on: May 06, 2019, 21:50:20 »
You seem to think that just because you work in the private sector that your rights are somehow more important than the rights of the people working in the public service. Just because you disagree with how compensation is done for the public service, doesn't mean that taking away the rights of public service workers the right to bargain for how they are compensated is justified or right.

Where did he advocate that?

I don't particularly agree with the scheme that he advocated for, but I don't see where he stated they wouldn't have the right to collective bargaining. If you're referring to the right to strike, that's not at all the same thing. I actually think the question of the right to strike for public servants is one of the better questions he's brought up, and I am huge supporter for the right to collective bargaining.

You are upset that public service gets to bargain for their pay raises while you in the private sector did not so you want to take it out on the public servants to limit their rights and freedoms instead of maybe trying to fix your own situation. To me you come across as very vindictive in how you approach the whole situation.

 :orly:

It's sad that you feel this offended by someone discussing public sector compensation.
Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?

Offline mariomike

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #39 on: May 06, 2019, 21:53:09 »
Ask any business owner and they're probably pretty hesitant to disregard their customers.... except for Air Canada.

"We're not happy until you're not happy?" :) 

Offline meni0n

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #40 on: May 06, 2019, 21:56:22 »
Where did he advocate that?

I don't particularly agree with the scheme that he advocated for, but I don't see where he stated they wouldn't have the right to collective bargaining. If you're referring to the right to strike, that's not at all the same thing. I actually think the question of the right to strike for public servants is one of the better questions he's brought up, and I am huge supporter for the right to collective bargaining.

 :orly:

It's sad that you feel this offended by someone discussing public sector compensation.

His opening post literally said he wants to set compensation in stone and tie it to the national median to remove the union's ability from bargaining for compensation. That is exactly what he was proposing, removing the ability of the unions from negotiating compensation for the people they represent.

My employer is the Government of Canada. I may work in the public interest but I am still employed by the Government. The OP has not provided a shred of evidence to suggest public salaries are way out of line. He based his point of view about how unfair it is for the public service to be able to bargain for their raises while some private company decided to give less to their own workers. So instead of thinking of how to improve compensation at this private company, the OP decides that he doesn't like the fact the public service can negotiate their compensation and that removing that right is somehow the most logical thing to do, all because he pays "their salaries".

Offline ballz

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #41 on: May 06, 2019, 22:10:35 »
His opening post literally said he wants to set compensation in stone and tie it to the national median to remove the union's ability from bargaining for compensation. That is exactly what he was proposing, removing the ability of the unions from negotiating compensation for the people they represent.

My employer is the Government of Canada. I may work in the public interest but I am still employed by the Government. The OP has not provided a shred of evidence to suggest public salaries are way out of line. He based his point of view about how unfair it is for the public service to be able to bargain for their raises while some private company decided to give less to their own workers. So instead of thinking of how to improve compensation at this private company, the OP decides that he doesn't like the fact the public service can negotiate their compensation and that removing that right is somehow the most logical thing to do, all because he pays "their salaries".

I guess I read that part as talking about the right to strike as he was talking about "holding taxpayers hostage." I also read the wage premium (i.e. median wage + 2%) to be the part that would be negotiated... i.e. instead of negotiating your gross salary, you are negotiating the wage premium.

You keep saying he doesn't have the right to bargain because he's in the private sector but that's just not true so I'm not sure how you're concluding to that. Even if he doesn't have union (which the workers could start if they want one) everyone can always bargain with their feet.... which is what gov't workers would do if the wage premium was too low and there were better alternatives in the private sector.

I honestly didn't think that public sector wages were higher was even controversial, but okay... Fraser Institute says they are on average 10.6% higher in Ontario... and that's not factoring in what is almost always a better benefits package. You'll see that the OP is not the first person to suggest using the private sector wages as a means to control public sector wages. https://www.fraserinstitute.org/article/control-government-spending-in-canada-by-aligning-public-sector-pay-with-the-private-sector

And the actual report... https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/comparing-government-private-sector-ON-2018.pdf
« Last Edit: May 06, 2019, 22:15:23 by ballz »
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Offline meni0n

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #42 on: May 06, 2019, 22:18:40 »
I never said he didn't have the right to bargain. I said that just because his union didn't bargain hard enough or his work place doesn't have a union and the wage increases were just given to them by the company, doesn't mean that's an excuse to propose taking away bargaining rights from public service employees.

I'd like to see those numbers for the CS category. I can tell you right now that there are a lot of specialized positions that are very underpaid. I could leave today and make 30-40k more elsewhere in the private sector. Those numbers may be true perhaps for a clerk position but not for a lot of the other classifications. Also, some of the research you provided seems quite off. They compared private vs public just in Ontario. How about we go and compare private vs public wages in Alberta or BC? I don't even know how some public service employees are able to live in BC.

I still don't see how tying public service wages to the private sector, where the incentive is to pay employees the least amount possible to maximize profits, make any sense. Perhaps it's the private sector that's underpaying their employees and not the public service overpaying theirs?
« Last Edit: May 06, 2019, 22:26:44 by meni0n »

Offline ballz

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #43 on: May 06, 2019, 22:32:09 »
I never said he didn't have the right to bargain. I said that just because his union didn't bargain hard enough or his work place doesn't have a union and the wage increases were just given to them by the company, doesn't mean that's an excuse to propose taking away bargaining rights from public service employees.

I'd like to see those numbers for the CS category. I can tell you right now that there are a lot of specialized positions that are very underpaid. I could leave today and make 30-40k more elsewhere in the private sector. Those numbers may be true perhaps for a clerk position but not for a lot of the other classifications.

I still don't see how tying public service wages to the private sector, where the incentive is to pay employees the least amount possible to maximize profits, make any sense. Perhaps it's the private sector that's underpaying their employees and not the public service overpaying theirs?

The government also better be doing it's damn best to pay employees the least amount possible, how is this lost on you? It's not a charity, those are not just numbers on a computer screen, those are real dollars and there are a limited amount of resources. Why should taxpayers be forced to pay 10.6% above market rates? Is the government labour force 10.6% more efficient and therefore it's worth the cost? Or did the GOVERNMENT not bargain hard enough on behalf of it's stakeholders?

Did his union not bargain hard enough? Or is it because private sector businesses are *forced* to be more efficient by the market? And therefore they simply can't afford to pay workers an extra 10.6% plus defined benefit pensions, early retirement, etc. or their competitors will literally run them out of business. A reality that the government doesn't have to face because it is just borrowing us further and further and further into debt for political gain.

There's a fine argument to be had about whether we should be willing to pay a premium in order to get the most effective public service in the world, or maybe we don't need the most effective public service in the world. Or maybe we could have the best public service in the world for 10.6% cheaper if the government did a better job with human resources on our behalf.
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Offline meni0n

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #44 on: May 06, 2019, 22:40:51 »
The government also better be doing it's damn best to pay employees the least amount possible, how is this lost on you? It's not a charity, those are not just numbers on a computer screen, those are real dollars and there are a limited amount of resources. Why should taxpayers be forced to pay 10.6% above market rates? Is the government labour force 10.6% more efficient and therefore it's worth the cost? Or did the GOVERNMENT not bargain hard enough on behalf of it's stakeholders?

Did his union not bargain hard enough? Or is it because private sector businesses are *forced* to be more efficient by the market? And therefore they simply can't afford to pay workers an extra 10.6% plus defined benefit pensions, early retirement, etc. or their competitors will literally run them out of business. A reality that the government doesn't have to face because it is just borrowing us further and further and further into debt for political gain.

There's a fine argument to be had about whether we should be willing to pay a premium in order to get the most effective public service in the world, or maybe we don't need the most effective public service in the world. Or maybe we could have the best public service in the world for 10.6% cheaper if the government did a better job with human resources on our behalf.

You missed the part for that 10.6% where it said it was comparing public vs private in Ontario. If you do exactly the same comparison in Alberta or BC, I bet you will have very different numbers. I actually prefer the Government to pay employees fair compensation for their services and not turn into a faceless corporation that prefers to take advantage of people and try to get away with  getting the most amount of productivity while getting away underpaying people because they can.

Offline ballz

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #45 on: May 06, 2019, 22:52:25 »
You missed the part for that 10.6% where it said it was comparing public vs private in Ontario. If you do exactly the same comparison in Alberta or BC, I bet you will have very different numbers. I actually prefer the Government to pay employees fair compensation for their services and not turn into a faceless corporation that prefers to take advantage of people and try to get away with  getting the most amount of productivity while getting away underpaying people because they can.

Apparently not... Alberta has pretty similar results here.

https://www.fraserinstitute.org/studies/comparing-government-and-private-sector-compensation-in-alberta-2017


If the government did it's job well, the public sector would get fair compensation, that's how markets work. The question is, are they really doing their job if we're spiraling into debt... and yet at the same time paying compensation that is quite in excess of "fair" by market standards. That's why people are looking at the private sector as a measuring stick... they expect their government to be competent and efficient and the private sector is a fair measuring stick.

I don't think "the government should pay extra, just because it's nice of them to do so" is a particularly strong argument.
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Offline meni0n

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #46 on: May 06, 2019, 22:55:18 »
I don't know why you are assuming that the private sector is the one that is paying fair compensation, given that their main goal is profits. While the Government doesn't have that goal, maybe it's the public service that has fair compensation while the private is skewed because their motivation is different? There are different ways to look at this.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2019, 23:01:37 by meni0n »

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #47 on: May 06, 2019, 23:18:11 »

That's why people are looking at the private sector as a measuring stick... they expect their government to be competent and efficient and the private sector is a fair measuring stick.

Like Sears? Target Canada?  Nortel?  Bre-ex?  RIM? 
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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #48 on: May 06, 2019, 23:37:14 »
Like Sears? Target Canada?  Nortel?  Bre-ex?  RIM?

Sure... How much do those wages contribute to the "average private sector wage" which people are advocating be used as a measuring stick?

Cherry-picking companies that failed is just silly, I could come back with "like Google? Like Suncor? Like Manulife? It would be just as silly. Actually less silly, because those companies are part of the market and would increase the "average private sector wage" where as your cherry-picked example literally wouldn't factor into the equation.
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Offline ballz

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #49 on: May 06, 2019, 23:40:48 »
I don't know why you are assuming that the private sector is the one that is paying fair compensation, given that their main goal is profits. While the Government doesn't have that goal, maybe it's the public service that has fair compensation while the private is skewed because their motivation is different? There are different ways to look at this. I also don't understand how you're tying public service compensation to the government going into debt. Is that the main factor that is dragging us into debt?

Everything the government spends money on is tied to the government going in debt, and public sector compensation is pretty large expenditure for all governments. It's also politically popular in the short-term with long-term consequences if mismanaged, particularly since cutting government jobs is extremely politically unpopular...
And yes, I'm just as critical about other forms of government spending than just compensation expenses, as we all should be.... like you said, we're all taxpayers.


What Danny Williams did to Newfoundland is a great example. As Premier he brokered a bunch of deals to bring in oil revenues and made Newfoundland a "have" province.... then, he increased government expenses because of all this new money coming in. We're talking an increase in government spending (not all in public sector compensation, but of course a big chunk of it) from $3.5 billion to $6.5 billion, a massive 86% increase in government expenditures.

The price of oil dropped and so the royalty revenues dropped, and Newfoundland was budgeted for a $2.5 billion deficit because of it, and do you know how politically impossible it is to cut government spending by 38% and during a recession to boot??? ... all of this was created out of essentially charity, it wasn't required 5-10 years earlier.... and now the government was running a $2.5 billion dollar deficient where as if they had not grown the size of government so much, they would have been running a $500 million surplus during a recession.

Newfoundland ended FY 2003 with $3.5 billion in expenditures and a pretty manageable $60 million deficit. That's right when Danny Williams took over. By the time he left, FY 2011 had $6.5 billion in expenditures. Due to recession and the drop in royalty revenue, by March 2015, they were expecting a $2.5 billion deficit even though expenditures remained at $6.5 billion...... this would have been a $500 million surplus, in a recession, but the political wins of increasing government spending for Danny Williams were too tempting and he basically sank the province with 70-90% approval ratings for doing so.
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Offline mariomike

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #50 on: May 07, 2019, 08:12:04 »
, particularly since cutting government jobs is extremely politically unpopular...

Or going after collective bargaining rights, the arbitration system, and pensions.

Anyone remember Tim Hudak?

Quote
Tim Hudak feels heat over impact of job cuts on fire, ambulance services

OXFORD CENTRE, ONT.—Tim Hudak got a grilling about his promised 100,000 public sector job cuts from a “longtime, very dedicated Conservative” fearing the impact on fire and ambulance services.

“Municipalities make determinations on their fire and their ambulance,” added Hudak, who signalled intent to curb salary arbitration awards to emergency services workers.

https://www.thestar.com/news/ontario_election/2014/05/20/hudak_says_only_judicial_inquiry_can_get_to_bottom_of_gas_plants_scandal.html

Ontario election 2014: OPP officers' union launches anti-Hudak ads

Ads don't mention job cuts, but focus on collective bargaining, arbitration, pensions

Neither the police union ads nor the organization's president, Jim Christie, specifically mention job cuts. Instead they focus on Hudak's stance on pensions, collective bargaining rights, arbitration and wage freezes. 
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-votes-2014/ontario-election-2014-opp-officers-union-launches-anti-hudak-ads-1.2661984


Firefighters union issues anti-Hudak letter
https://torontosun.com/2014/06/04/firefighters-union-issues-anti-hudak-letter/wcm/f188f9a0-aeb6-453c-bcd7-5da6eeae3e74

"will face an arbitration that will be tilted in the “employer’s favour” making it “impossible” to ever get a “fair deal” again."

“I’ve seen this kind of destruction before — in the United States,” Schaitberger writes. “I have witnessed the heartache of firefighters losing their jobs, their pensions and their rights at the hands of malicious Tea Party governments that scared people into voting for them and then imposed the same destructive plan Hudak has promised for Ontario.”







Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #51 on: May 07, 2019, 09:15:15 »
For the point of it being difficult to budget based off the average income, you would have to set it up to say have at least a 2 year delay to ensure the data is accurately collected, much like how for this year statistics are mostly from 2017 and earlier the same would have to be done for the income as it is the only way to predictively do it. Possibly 3 years out (so say if it was the 2020 wage, it would be the 2017 income) so there can be better planning.

The legal questions are a more difficult one to answer. I am not a lawyer by any means, but you wouldn't necessarily be taking away the right to associate or bargain, you would be taking away one section of what they are allowed to bargain. I don't know if that would fly in a court of law or not, but it would be interesting to watch.

I actually am enjoying this debate as there are many interesting points being brought up that I hadn't considered (such as the possible legal consequences). Any more potential thoughts on what could be some good, bad, or otherwise complicated points?

It would be a highly divisive labour relations issue, so would expect a lot of challenges, strikes, etc.  All of that has a direct and indirect cost on the economy.

It would be a huge macro change, but I'm not sure what gain you would really have.  If it goes from someone negotiating a set salary, to a median income +x, you should expect the median+x to be the same as the salary as your starting point, so your labour costs won't go down.  There would probably be some guarantees required for a minimum salary, or some pretty significant performance possibilities to offset the salary risk. It would probably give any CFO a heart attack though.

Also no idea how this would affect people getting mortgages etc.

Overall this would probably push a lot of people out of government, and normally it's not the bottom third that has good alternate job options, so you should expect the general effectiveness to drop.

Rather than make sweeping macro changes, the best bet is to reform a lot of little things. At the federal level, you spend a lot of time doing a lot of processes for low dollar value or low risk items, with a lot of redundant reporting.

For example, for a standard travel claim, there is a travel approval submission with a rough budget for approval, and then the actual travel request with the actual budget.  Depending where you are, those go up to the ADM (basically a VP position) for the initial approval and can take weeks (so your booking costs increase). The actual travel request also has a similar approval requirement, and normally goes up to a manager level.

Normally you can assume the whole thing will take three to four weeks for routine and a few weeks for priority approval. I've also had my travel request audited a few times, so it was verified by a supervisor, manager and director, then independently audited. This was for a three day trip that cost less then $1k.

There is a massive amount of oversight, review etc but normally doesn't really scale well.  All of that has a massive resource requirement, and convinced that if you trimmed most of that, focused on the big ticket stuff, and actually penalized people that abused travel and hospitality, or otherwise mismanaged approved levels of spending authority, it would make a significant difference.

That's an obvious example, but there probably hundreds more. Some of it makes sense, but most of it has built up like layers of silt over the years, and there is a huge amount of reluctance to ever get rid of oversight (or track the LOE or cost impacts).

Specialist would spend more time working on their actual area (rather than so much time on bureaucracy and processes), you wouldn't get artificial cost increases from decision lag, and people would be generally happier.

If you do that on a broad scale, your administrative burden goes down, but you don't necessarily reduce your front end staff. So some of the management can either get reduced, or actually focus on management. Can't tell you how much time I spent running around on all kinds of other stuff that could have better been spent doing my core job, but if the paper didn't get pushed (and pulled, dragged, beaten into submission, then tracked down and start over) things weren't in place for work to get done.

Personnally I don't think public servants are the root cause of the problems Canadians complain about for the most part. What I've seen myself is that they get stuff done despite all the BS they have to wade through.  Sure there are plugs, but you get the same thing in private sector. Same with the empire building managers that kneecap progress for their own glory.

Most times I think we could benefit from a decade or so of benevolent dictatorship to burn the current system of processes to the ground so we can start over, and have that happen ever generation or so (to make sure it keeps up with modern requirements). Not going to happen, but a guy can dream.

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #52 on: May 07, 2019, 10:13:28 »
https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/agar-public-service-pay-cut-in-order                                                                                                                                     
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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #53 on: May 07, 2019, 11:00:33 »
Further to Navy-Pete post, my co-worker had her travel claim denied because the hotel was $2 over the approved city rate, for a 2 night stay. So she had to go back to the Regional director to get approval and then resubmit it. Imagine how much that cost in wage time....

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #54 on: May 07, 2019, 11:32:29 »
Public wages exploded during the years 2001 and 2009 by 6.7% by year.

That was just stupid hiring by a stupid Govt..   I doubt very much the actual wage increase over that whole time for OPSEU employees was even 6.7%.

I'd take the one percent cut IF I thought that would mean Govt. (whatever party) carried on the seriousness of spending less for at least a decade or so.  But I know all it would do is be "goody" money before every election.
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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #55 on: May 07, 2019, 11:42:11 »
Public wages exploded during the years 2001 and 2009 by 6.7% by year.

That was just stupid hiring by a stupid Govt..   I doubt very much the actual wage increase over that whole time for OPSEU employees was even 6.7%.

I'd take the one percent cut IF I thought that would mean Govt. (whatever party) carried on the seriousness of spending less for at least a decade or so.  But I know all it would do is be "goody" money before every election.

By 2030 there won't be too many people working for the public service. The message here for anyone working in a service sector job - unions or no unions - is probably something like 'be flexible, keep your education upgraded, networks connected, resume refreshed, mind open and personal debt loads low':

"Automation threatens public sector jobs, says PwC

Hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs could be lost by the early 2030s thanks to automation, says a Pricewaterhouse Coopers study.

Public administration and defence could experience job losses of 32.1% over the next 15 years, said research released by the accountancy firm on Friday."

https://www.publicfinance.co.uk/news/2017/03/automation-threatens-public-sector-jobs-says-pwc

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Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #56 on: May 07, 2019, 13:30:11 »
I remember coming off a ship for a shore posting when DRMIS was coming online.  They sold it as automating a lot of tasks and streamlining processes.

Fast forward four years, and went back to the ship to find there was an explosion in digital paperwork and the amount of time required actually significantly increased. Most of them usually involved starting with something in word/excel, then uploading that into a notification that also required set up (partly because of the deployed server setup, but mostly due to fields available). Also, most management of work period work was still done on spreadsheets after extracting the data, with the trusty whiteboard in the office to track day to day.  The whiteboard and excel gantt chart were critical, and the only way we could figure out what was actually going on.

I'm convinced streamlining technology brings all the good idea fairies out of the woodwork. Replacing one twenty minute task with thirty 'streamlined' two minute tasks just because the technology exists doesn't result in more time to focus on actual management.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #57 on: May 07, 2019, 13:52:39 »
I remember coming off a ship for a shore posting when DRMIS was coming online.  They sold it as automating a lot of tasks and streamlining processes.

Fast forward four years, and went back to the ship to find there was an explosion in digital paperwork and the amount of time required actually significantly increased. Most of them usually involved starting with something in word/excel, then uploading that into a notification that also required set up (partly because of the deployed server setup, but mostly due to fields available). Also, most management of work period work was still done on spreadsheets after extracting the data, with the trusty whiteboard in the office to track day to day.  The whiteboard and excel gantt chart were critical, and the only way we could figure out what was actually going on.

I'm convinced streamlining technology brings all the good idea fairies out of the woodwork. Replacing one twenty minute task with thirty 'streamlined' two minute tasks just because the technology exists doesn't result in more time to focus on actual management.

Frequently, the push to automate requires the individual to take ownership of all those tasks previously performed by a HQ staff. And with the advent and speedy progress of various apps, and other similar technology driven off the smart phone, we may see the elimination of administratively focused HQ staff.

The currently reality reflects your example though, more often than not, so we're likely to have to rely on the good ol' whiteboard and street smarts for a little while longer!
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Offline mariomike

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #58 on: May 07, 2019, 14:12:07 »
https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/agar-public-service-pay-cut-in-order                                                                                                                                     

He does not seem friendly towards Toronto's unions: "Greed? Let's talk unions."

Even uses the Ford Nation "Stop the gravy train" slogan.

Says, "firefighters don’t work for the province, but municipalities. Their fight, if they have one, is with municipal councils."

What he does not mention is that the city's emergency services are at the mercy of Queen's Park when it comes to collective bargaining rights, pension, arbitration etc.

Quote
Greed? Let’s talk unions.

The unions who represent well-paid workers with terrific benefits are literally freaking out to the point of unprecedented scare-mongering over the possibility a Tim Hudak Progressive Conservative government will try to balance the books.

Firefighters have brought in help from an American union to spread the notion if Hudak is elected, none of us will be safe.

Not only is that ridiculous, firefighters don’t work for the province, but municipalities. Their fight, if they have one, is with municipal councils. And they are very well paid.

Ditto the union representing OPP workers: the Ontario Provincial Police Association.

Representing one of the most highly paid police forces in the world, they had the gall to run an ad attacking Hudak by telling voters we won’t be safe on the streets and in our beds if the PCs are elected.

Using an officer with a taxpayer-funded uniform and squad car, the ad originally didn’t identify the message was coming from the union. It was billed as a message from the OPP.

(This was eventually corrected.)

The OPP got a 5% increase in 2011, 8.5% this year, and are in line for more, so as to be ahead of the Toronto Police Association, as per their contract, which stipulates they are to be the highest-paid in the province.

Have you had a 14% pay bump since 2010?

Public sector unions spend millions each election, mostly on ads attacking the Progressive Conservative leader.

The Liberal party rewards them by growing government, adding more voters to their team each year.

The cycle of greed continues. The debt grows, and the burden is placed on the private sector, since government doesn’t make money, it just spends it.

In 2011, 4.3 million people voted. There are over a million public employees, plus their families. They have the power, along with other life-long Liberal voters, to win a multi-party election.

Public union employees on average have a better situation in terms of salary, benefits and retirement than do their counterparts in the private sector doing comparable work.

Voting Liberal in this election, if you’re a public sector worker, is an admission you don’t care about your friends and neighbours in the private sector.

You just want your gravy train to keep on rolling.
https://torontosun.com/2014/06/09/voting-liberal-are-you-feeling-ok/wcm/2bc1087a-1233-4ca4-b9dc-2c1c350a76a6

That's from 2014. But, there was lots more,
https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=A8rRXIi9Ku-I5wK32KaoBw&q=%22Jerry+Agar%22+unions&btnK=Google+Search&oq=%22Jerry+Agar%22+unions&gs_l=psy-ab.3...3585.12043..12350...0.0..0.623.3415.0j17j2j5-1......0....1..gws-wiz.....0..35i39j0i67j0j0i20i263j33i21.LSjg7G_1fxI



Offline dapaterson

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #59 on: May 07, 2019, 14:13:31 »
We automate processes to eliminate clerical (lower-paid) functions, and replace their efforts with higher-paid people trying to understand the minutia of the processes the clerks did.

Of course, we rarely simplify the processes and take advantage of automation; rather, we automate a paper heavy process, retain its workflow, but add in computers making things longer, more complex - but with fewer people to deliver, and no one dedicated to the function.

Or, if you're some IT systems, you promise personnel savings, deliver a reduced solution late, but cut the personnel who should have been leading the transformation effort per your original schedule so you can claim an early RoI, and then wrap up millions over budget with a system that's fine on the shop floor, but not so good in deployed, austere locations with limited bandwidth.
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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #60 on: May 07, 2019, 16:10:50 »
We automate processes to eliminate clerical (lower-paid) functions, and replace their efforts with higher-paid people trying to understand the minutia of the processes the clerks did.

Of course, we rarely simplify the processes and take advantage of automation; rather, we automate a paper heavy process, retain its workflow, but add in computers making things longer, more complex - but with fewer people to deliver, and no one dedicated to the function.

Or, if you're some IT systems, you promise personnel savings, deliver a reduced solution late, but cut the personnel who should have been leading the transformation effort per your original schedule so you can claim an early RoI, and then wrap up millions over budget with a system that's fine on the shop floor, but not so good in deployed, austere locations with limited bandwidth.

.... and then we forget how to do the simplest, old school, customer service things right, like answering the phone :)

Millions of calls to government agencies go unanswered: Auditor General

https://globalnews.ca/news/5249257/calls-to-government-auditor-general/
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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #61 on: May 07, 2019, 16:14:07 »
...or, if you're some IT systems, you promise personnel savings, deliver a reduced solution late, but cut the personnel who should have been leading the transformation effort per your original schedule so you can claim an early RoI, and then wrap up millions over budget with a system that's fine on the shop floor, but not so good in deployed, austere locations with limited bandwidth.

You mean like using a software module intended for a widget factory to manage a complex, highly mobile system, like an aircraft? ???

Offline dapaterson

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Re: Public sector wages
« Reply #62 on: May 07, 2019, 16:15:36 »
Don't be ridiculous.  Who would be stupid enough to do that?
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