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verotik66
04-02-2009, 07:53 PM
National Post editorial board: Boom time for the public service
Posted: April 02, 2009, 8:00 AM by NP Editor

Canada’s private sector is racked with job losses — nearly 300,000 between November, 2008, and February, 2009, alone, with projections of as many as 600,000 in total between September, 2008 and June of this year. Gross domestic product could shrink over 5% during the first half of the year, before making a small rebound in the second. Homes are in danger of foreclosure, consumer confidence is stumbling and businesses are shuttering. At present, Canada is on pace for a 22% rise in personal bankruptcies this year. Real wages are stagnant or even falling.

Meanwhile, over in the public sector, things could hardly be rosier. According to Statistics Canada, the ranks of Canada’s civil servants swelled by 96,000 members (2.9%) in just the final three months of 2008, and “total public sector wages and salaries rose by 4.3%” last year, almost two percentage points above private-sector compensation.

“Recession?” these government workers are saying. “What recession?”

Prior to the last big recession in 1991, there were 96.3 federal, provincial and municipal workers for every 1,000 Canadians. Then, after years of Common Sense Revolutions, Alberta Advantages and cutbacks at all levels, that figure fell to 93.3. Now there are more than 101.5 government workers per 1,000 Canadian men, women and children. Nearly one in five working Canadians is now employed directly by one of the three levels of government, or by schools, universities and colleges, hospitals, social service agencies, Crown corporations and so on. These mark the highest levels of per-capita peacetime public-sector employment in our history.

These armies of bureaucrats and other public workers are only going to bloat further, too, as nearly every government in the country adds taxpayer-funded jobs to its payroll in a bid to stimulate the economy. Whereas one year ago 18.8% of Canadian workers were public-sector workers, today almost 19.4% are — and that percentage is growing. A good example is the outrageous City of Toronto budget that adds more than 1,000 new city employees (not to mention $558-million in new spending) — a sign of an out of control government trying to spend its way out of a recession.

To make matters worse, public-sector compensation now far exceeds comparable private-sector wages and benefits. As the Ontario government revealed Monday, the number of its provincial civil servants earning more than $100,000 increased by nearly a third in 2008. Now, fully one in 10 Ontario government workers makes more than $100,000 a year, not including pensions and benefits that can add another 40% to the value of compensation. In the private sector, only a little more than 5% of workers have salaries that high.

Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan attempted to justify these statistics by insisting they were nowhere near the “stratospheric” compensation paid to executives at U.S. financial institutions. Is that the best the man can do — comparing Ontario government workers to discredited financial-industry oligarchs? Surely Mr. Duncan seeks a higher standard of accountability and fairness than this.

And then, in a feat of economic jiggery-pokery that defies reason, Mr. Duncan said high civil service pay was necessary because “our restaurants, our small businesses depend on those public-sector salaries” — citing the specific example of his hometown of Windsor, Ont.

Call it trickle-down economics meets the food chain: Ontario needs to pay its public workers well so they can afford to tip their waiters. Wouldn’t it be more efficient for the government to send daily envelopes of loose change to servers directly, and cut out the middleman?

According to an economic analysis released just before Christmas by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, federal civil servants are paid 17.3% more than their counterparts in the private sector — nearly 42% more if benefits, perks and pensions are included in the calculations. Provincial and municipal bureaucrats are paid 25% and 36% more, respectively.
Judges — not lawyers, doctors or corporate executives — are now the highest paid category of income-earners in the country, and senior public-sector managers are sixth on the list. Few countries have more or better paid civil servants.

Since each public-sector job relies for its existence on taxes paid by those creating income and employment in the private sector, it is foolish to think we can lift the private sector out of its slump by adding high-paying, tax-funded jobs in government and government-run sectors. This only further drains the resources needed for recovery. The public sector is already big enough and well enough paid. Stop expanding it.

National Post

KDawg
04-02-2009, 08:15 PM
Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan attempted to justify these statistics by insisting they were nowhere near the “stratospheric” compensation paid to executives at U.S. financial institutions. Is that the best the man can do — comparing Ontario government workers to discredited financial-industry oligarchs? Surely Mr. Duncan seeks a higher standard of accountability and fairness than this.Absolutely!

Here's a local example of exactly what verotik's article's talking about:

Orazietti Announces New Base Funding for School Boards


The McGuinty government has invested an additional $27,927,152 in Sault Ste. Marie schools over the last 6 years by committing $3,167,119 in new base funding for local school boards in the 2009-10 Grants for Student Needs (GSN), despite a decline in enrolment of 4129 students during the same period David Orazietti, MPP announced today...

Additional provincial funding highlights include:
Funding More Staff In Schools:

555 more elementary specialist teachers — in areas such as arts — to support 10 additional minutes of preparation time per week.

211 more elementary school office staff for an increased adult presence in schools

http://soonews.ca/viewarticle.php?id=21718

How does increasing office staff better student learning? What's more important to the provincial government? Student learning or higher union membership numbers?

Wrangler35
04-05-2009, 11:32 AM
Fantastic article,,Truth to power!

Slow
04-05-2009, 11:34 AM
Truth to power...

power to the people...

make love, not war...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

You aging hippies really need to know when to get off the stage.

Wrangler35
04-05-2009, 11:35 AM
Truth to power...

power to the people...

make love, not war...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

You aging hippies really need to know when to get off the stage.

Your so sweet!

Barry Morris
04-05-2009, 03:00 PM
The fact that government types aren't going down is what is helping the Sault to stay as healthy as it is.

I don't know how many workers we have in the Sault, but things would be a lot worse if the public sector has as many layoffs as the private sector.

403_forbidden
04-06-2009, 07:35 PM
Wait until we are out of the recession and everyone is back to work and the government is billions in debt....the first thing the governments will do is lay off public servants and cut and privatize services.....Public servant jobs are always cut after a hard recession when governments look at place to start cutting back to pay off debt from the bail outs....so after this recession we can see the GST go to double digits....the public servant jobs cuts, cuts on service and privatization of government services.....anyone want to take a poll what the GST will be after the economy is back on it's feet :).....