Author Topic: Public sector wages  (Read 4027 times)

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Offline Brihard

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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...
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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.
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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.

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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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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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