Public sector wages… are they-we losing touch?

I was forwarded links to two websites this week: one in Ontario and one in B.C. that have databases showing public sector employee wages. In Ontario there is actually legislation in place mandating that public sector employee wages be publicly available.

In B.C. the Vancouver Sun reports it had to file over ninety Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to compile it’s database of BC’s public sector employee wages.

You can search all sorts of BC organizations, here is a sampling of what can be seen there, with a search within the BC Government salaries:

BC public sector salaries

more BC Public sector salaries

I’m sure that some of these jobs are difficult, demanding, and time consuming… but $250,000 for Deputy Ministers?

All in all, in B.C., Deputy Ministers (DM) appear to be making more then judges. Not to mention that the DM’s are making far more then the elected MLAs, with salaries in the $150,000 range.

Continue down the list and one starts running into some University professors above $200,000.

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Go take a look in Ontario’s database and there are some rather shocking results, and it seems a bit of a disconnect.

Look at some of Ontario’s Children Aid Societies, important organizations doing important work, however, look at some of the wages (click on image to see full screen).

Children Aid societies in Ontario

Or another Canadian icon organization that has been in some hot water recently — for pulling off rather contradictory partnerships with organizations such as Enbridge Pipelines — The Nature Conservancy of Canada:

Nature Conservancy of Canada wages

Thus, if the President of Strategic Philanthropy is making almost $140,000 a year plus expenses, plus full benefits, etc. That individual would need to do quite a bit of fundraising just to pay for their position alone — let alone the President’s position at almost $200,000 per year plus all expenses.

Or take a look at Ontario’s Cancer research branch:

Ontario's cancer research branch

Yes, important work… but how much of fundraising, etc. is going simply to pay for inflated wages?

Yes, we need good people in these positions… but with wages far, far beyond the averages of everyday folks, and far, far, far, far beyond the increasing number of people living below the poverty line?

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What does this have to do with wild salmon?

Go try and find the wages of DFO employees. Nada.

No requirement for that sort of disclosure.

Maybe those from DFO that comment on this site will disclose wages paid within the organization — plus the nice healthy pension plans of the close to 50% of the organization set to retire within the next 10 years.

Glad myself and especially my kids will be paying the pensions on all of these inflated public sector wages… As opposed to paying for environmental stop gaps, health care, education, and vital things such as housing in both First Nation and non-First Nation communities.

Seems much of the public sector is on a serious disconnection notice… The first excuse given when questions are raised on this issue: “we have to stay competitive.”

Interesting… how do we stay competitive if most governments will be running significant deficits?

Think average folks in Greece or other austerity-measures hit countries are all that concerned about being ‘competitive’.

There’s a place for competition, and there’s a bigger place for common sense.

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