Should Public Sector Worker’s Wages Have a Ceiling by Jamie Gilcig – POLL Sept 1, 2014

jg2CFN – Today is Labour Day and I just read about the Toronto Star cutting jobs.   Of course they are getting flak from Unions; but there is a certain reality that we as a society are facing.

2% or cost of living raises may seem fair; but certain jobs simply have ceilings.

Right now law enforcement across Ontario is going through a crisis as OPP salaries are extremely high with no sign of stopping.

With arbitration smaller communities see their cost of their own cops rising along at the same beat.

The results in some cases lead to lesser services.  There’s only so much money in the public’s wallet.   Ontario teachers have one of the most powerful unions, but are our kids the smartest?  If you only have “X” dollars and the government  sells out  caves in to extortion  sells its soul for election support  negotiates salaries that simply eat up too much of the budget what do you do in the end?  What gets cut if you keep giving more and more of the pie to salaries?

It has been reported that C Difficile is the result of unionized cleaners pricing themselves out of competition and hospitals turning to private services not bound to the same steep service contracts.   Unionized cleaners get sick too.

Our hospital in Cornwall trucks in its food for patients instead of staffing a full kitchen.  Even the sandwiches in the vending machines come from Ottawa or Toronto.    Does that make sense?

Instead of looking in the mirror and facing realities we systemically adjust and band aid situations because we simply won’t elect officials that will support the system which means sometimes saying no.

When was the last time a public service union took a pay cut in Ontario?   When was the last time someone was elected with a clear platform to review public sector wage inflation?

Many times when we pass the red line we see job cuts.  In some cases we see job sharing and many times those let go are the most productive because of seniority.    Again, we get the results that we essentially deserve.

The solution isn’t to punish unions or to hurt labour.   The solution is to make Unions more accountable themselves.    Everyone deserves a living wage; but should  3rd year OPP officers really  be earning $90,621 per year base pay?   Entry level is just a hair under $50K.

Do these jobs require 7 years of Uni?

Firefighters and EMS workers are not far behind.      There are over 9,000 members of OPPA alone in Ontario.

We all need police and fire services as well as EMS; but at a certain point don’t these salaries price themselves out of what our economy can afford?

Nobody likes to take a reduction in pay. The OPP for example had a two year freeze that then resulted in a 8.55% raise thanks to the generosity of an election year Premier who clearly benefited from the hefty raise; especially when one of her counterparts made noises about cutting 100,000 public sector jobs.

Federal and Municipal governments play election games when it comes to public sector jobs as well.   If we had a ceiling with a process of review that could have a lesser impact.    After all it is our money.

Should Public Sector Jobs Have Reviewable Salary Ceilings ?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

What do you think CFN viewers?  You can post your comment below.

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)

Comment policy reminder 

CFN suggests you post comments using your real name. If you wish to post with a pseudonym you can register that user id by emailing with your name, address, phone number and user id you wish to register. 


  1. It’s a slippery slope. Trying to maintain services at a certain level AND not raise taxes too much. No one wins.

  2. Any taxpayer funded employment and program for that matter should have reviewable salary ceilings. There should be no more or than a 5% variance between the private and public sectors, how can you justify a larger discrepancy? You can argue based on location as the cost of living comes into play but the difference between employer A and employer B should be nickel and dime for essentially the same function.

    When wages and benefits take the lion share of tax revenues then the net result is a continual loss of
    services since taxation has its limitations. We have been witnessing this occur for the last 25 years.

    For example it was approximately 10 years ago that wages and benefits passed the 62% mark of available revenues leaving only 38% to maintain buildings,land,infrastructure and a huge list of services.

    Driving up wages without grounding in reality and reason only fuels a higher cost of living and a lower disposable income level. Economically we are on a course to embrace a form of communism ( what system do you have when you keep nothing that you have earned, when taxation takes all and the government looks after you needs? ).

Leave a Reply