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Public Servant sick days and their costs


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#161 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 01:37 PM

Bear in mind -someone feel free to correct me if this is incorrect - but by "City of Victoria" I believe that includes not just city hall employees but also the VicPD, VFD etc.


Not police.

http://www.vicnews.c.../160180095.html

Updated: June 24, 2012 1:12 PM

The elite club of staff earning more than $150,000 at the City of Victoria jumped from eight in 2010 to 15 last year.

The increase is due partly to the fact that non-unionized staff, such as directors and managers, receive the same annual increase as unionized staff, as determined through union negotiations.

There is also a newcomer on the list: city lawyer Tomasz Zworski was hired in May 2010, making 2011 his first full salaried year with the city. He earned $196,605, making him the third-highest earner, after city manager Gail Stephens ($231,452) and newly-appointed lead on the Johnson Street Bridge, Peter Sparanese ($227,258).


This shows 57 at over $100k.

http://www.victoria....s_report_11.pdf
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#162 MarkoJ

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 02:16 PM


Meanwhile, our elected officials and the appointed higher-ups in the government try to gut the wages and benefits of the union workers on the shop floor, saying we the taxpayers can't afford them.

Then, we have the CFIB and the Fraser Institute obligingly throwing their fuel on the fire, getting folks riled up about sick days.

Sure, public sector workers have a better deal on sick days than their equals in the private sector. But sniping away at that while ignoring the bigger picture isn't going to help the financial matters of the state and its citizens.


I was a unionized employee in my previous career with VIHA so I've seen both sides of the equation and I don’t think it is just sick days. A few of my friends with flex days had a 5 day Easter long weekend. My business would quickly collapse if I decided to take 5 days off. I would personally take an approximately 30 to 40% income pay cut for a public sector job due to a variety of reasons....benefits, pension, vacation, security, 40 hour or less work week, etc.


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#163 zoomer

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 07:06 PM

/\ You sound like a smart guy, with talent and skills, why don't you apply for a public sector job if that's what you want?

I've never been one to begrudge someone for how much they make, be it a nurse, actor, construction worker, realtor or hockey player. Pretty much anyone with reasonable intelligence can be a government worker if they dedicate themselves to this pursuit.

Since the 1980s the middle class has been under attack in a race to the bottom, with pensions, benefits and salaries stripped away or under attack. While short term the return to shareholders is positive, we are surely killing the engine that drives our economy. Will we all be finally be happy when everyone is making $12 bucks an hour with no benefits? Who will buy cars, disposable consumer goods and new housing at those levels? The government (read: YOU) will be forced to dramatically increase the amount they pay for seniors' benefits through the Guaranteed Income Supplement for all those who have no pensions.

Side note re: Flex Days, of course, that means the employee has already worked the extra hours for that day, it's not a free day off.

#164 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 07:16 PM

Will we all be finally be happy when everyone is making $12 bucks an hour with no benefits? Who will buy cars, disposable consumer goods and new housing at those levels?


I don't think this is sound, economically. If you tax ME to pay YOU an extra $4000 per year (in your civil service job), is that good? Or would that $4000 be better in my pocket, to spend as I choose.

Or if you charge ME $10 for a coffee (instead of $5), to pay YOU $25 an hour to serve it to me, is that good? Or would it be better if I keep the extra $5, spend it elsewhere?
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#165 zoomer

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 07:23 PM

So, once the theoretical $4,000 extra for the civil service job is eliminated, won't this drive down the equivalent private sector job by $4,000? If not, why is there a gap now? Where does it end? When people can no longer afford the new car, the restaurant meals or that beer after work? I guess I'm asking where is the line. Can we get a $2 coffee if we lower the minimum wage back down to $5?

#166 Dimitrios

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 07:31 PM

As a public sector worker, my take is that it's just a different gig. It's easy to say 'oh things are so good in the public sector' when the economy's weak, but it's a just a different job environment. There's often little motivation to do extra work, because there's no reward structure. No commissions, no Christmas bonus, no negotiating leeway when you sign, no reward for good work. I definitely agree that there's also very few repercussions for poor performance. (I've personally observed considerable disincentives to being innovative in a couple of departments I've been part of). Those who are ok coasting along for years tend to do best - do decent, conscientious work without trying to be provocative or change things too much. But when the economy is soaring, and company execs are flying to the retreat in Whistler and cashing in their stock options, public employees are still filling out paperwork to account for that box of pens they bought 6 weeks ago, and trying to figure out how to serve muffins at a meeting without violating policy.

As for pay structure, public union jobs are great equalizers. They're very generous jobs for clerks and lower administrators - between the fat hourly wages, low hours, good benefits - yeah, good gigs, for sure, a huge step up from those $24k entry level 'internship-plus' positions I hear about in the private sector. As you climb the ladder, the pay gets relatively much crappier. Salaries climb slowly, linearly, rewarding years of service more than performance. Once you get to highly technical white-collar educated professional levels - engineers, researchers, CFA's, architects, geoscientists, managers - they become much lower paying compared to the private sector. If you look beyond the union schedule at director-level positions, salaries (in the BC PS) are barely cracking $100-110k. These are positions that usually take 20 years of experience, plus education, plus demonstrated performance and knowing how to walk the walk. Program directors in private firms can make twice that. So it's a very socialist hierarchy - everyone is more equal. The bottom end looks cushy, and the top end seems stingy. (It's also a reason why top managers and directors with a bit of ambition don't stick around; they get scooped up elsewhere).

As zoomer said above - public sector wages encourage a strong middle class. Shorter hours and good benefits encourage strong families, strong communities, healthy and non-stressed people. I believe these have been good for making Canadian communities nice places to live. But as a result, we're less dynamic, less adaptable to new trends, new ideas, new technologies.

#167 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 07:36 PM

That's well-said geek ^

So, once the theoretical $4,000 extra for the civil service job is eliminated, won't this drive down the equivalent private sector job by $4,000? If not, why is there a gap now?


There is a gap now because public-sector jobs don't have equivalents in the private-sector world. So productivity of work does not always equate to the money paid for that job. There is no "competition" to drive productivity or innovation gains.
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#168 pherthyl

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 08:27 PM

I was a unionized employee in my previous career with VIHA so I've seen both sides of the equation and [/FONT][/COLOR]I don’t think it is just sick days. A few of my friends with flex days had a 5 day Easter long weekend. My business would quickly collapse if I decided to take 5 days off. I would personally take an approximately 30 to 40% income pay cut for a public sector job due to a variety of reasons....benefits, pension, vacation, security, 40 hour or less work week, etc.


Sure. It's a tradeoff though. Your business would collapse if you take 5 days off, but you make a lot more money to compensate for that.

Personally I prefer the less work for less money tradeoff. With my degree (engineering) I would make more in the private sector, but I'd rather spend my time on other things.
That said I think the public sector needs a serious kick in the ass in many ways. I don't think I could work for government directly, too frustrating.

#169 MarkoJ

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:38 PM

/\ You sound like a smart guy, with talent and skills, why don't you apply for a public sector job if that's what you want?

I've never been one to begrudge someone for how much they make, be it a nurse, actor, construction worker, realtor or hockey player. Pretty much anyone with reasonable intelligence can be a government worker if they dedicate themselves to this pursuit.

Since the 1980s the middle class has been under attack in a race to the bottom, with pensions, benefits and salaries stripped away or under attack. While short term the return to shareholders is positive, we are surely killing the engine that drives our economy. Will we all be finally be happy when everyone is making $12 bucks an hour with no benefits? Who will buy cars, disposable consumer goods and new housing at those levels? The government (read: YOU) will be forced to dramatically increase the amount they pay for seniors' benefits through the Guaranteed Income Supplement for all those who have no pensions.

Side note re: Flex Days, of course, that means the employee has already worked the extra hours for that day, it's not a free day off.


I did apply for a public sector job (management at VIHA) a few years ago after I finished my M.H.A. at UBC and I didn't get to the interview stage; therefore, I guess I am not quite smart enough for the public sector? Getting a public sector job is no exactly easy. I resigned shortly after from my position and went into something where I feel my input is directly correlated to my outcome.

Side note re: Flex Days, I have a lot of close friends with the government. Someone of them are quite smart and openly admit that they don't work the extra flex hours in full. A number of tricks out there, for example, one of my friends takes "30 minutes" for lunch as part of the extra hours worked; however, admits that in reality he really takes 45 minutes every day. Some of the other stories I hear are very interesting as well.

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#170 MarkoJ

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:46 PM

Sure. It's a tradeoff though. Your business would collapse if you take 5 days off, but you make a lot more money to compensate for that.


I agree, I make more money to compensate and that is fair in my opinion.

However, is it fair a secretary at a real estate brokerage makes $12/hour while the public sector equivalent is making substantially more plus enjoying all the associated benefits?

Maybe I am looking at this from the wrong perspective. Is the flaw in the system that the private sector secretary is underpaid perhaps?

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#171 pherthyl

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 10:00 PM

However, is it fair a secretary at a real estate brokerage makes $12/hour while the public sector equivalent is making substantially more plus enjoying all the associated benefits?

Maybe I am looking at this from the wrong perspective. Is the flaw in the system that the private sector secretary is underpaid perhaps?


Probably some combination of the two. I agree there are certain positions that are overpaid in the public sector. Seems to be the low end, but then also sometimes the very high end. Still don't understand why we had to pay the BC ferries boss so much to run the operation into the ground.

#172 Mike K.

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 10:05 PM

As a public sector worker, my take is that it's just a different gig. It's easy to say 'oh things are so good in the public sector' when the economy's weak, but it's a just a different job environment. There's often little motivation to do extra work, because there's no reward structure. No commissions, no Christmas bonus, no negotiating leeway when you sign, no reward for good work.


Neither are these perks available to the majority of workers employed by the private sector and for the self-employed a dependable salary can be many years in the making and you never know if or when the bottom will fall out.

30 years ago the public sector paid workers lower wages in return for stability/job security, benefits and a solid pension. But the days of equity in this country appear long gone and public workers are paid much higher wages compared to many private workers (if not most) who will never enjoy comparable stability/job security, benefits or a solid pension.

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#173 G-Man

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 08:27 PM

Like Greek said yes the admin assistant makes more than their private sector counterpart but much beyond the clerical level and the salaries are heavily tilted to benefit the private sector. Still starting in BC Govt you are not making more than 30k a year maybe less. So the difference is not that big.

CGA's and those with MBA's are making 50k if they are in the middle of the pack in the public sector. They can do far better outside and most do leave.

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#174 Mike K.

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 09:56 PM

Perhaps a position requiring an untrained employee would pay $30k per year, I mean postal workers earn a higher starting wage than that, but an educated individual applying for a position that requires that education would pay well in excess of the government's minimum wage.

That being said, government wages cannot be considered without taking benefits and a pension into account.

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#175 G-Man

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 08:22 PM

The employee does contribute most of the pension money themselves from their salary. It is not all free money. Anyone can set aside money from their pay if they choose to.

Also many may not realize this but there has been an almost year long hiring freeze going on. So people are not getting hired, positions that get vacated cannot usually be filled. About the only way to get in is through an admin pool and those are pretty limited too.

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#176 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 08:25 PM

Also many may not realize this but there has been an almost year long hiring freeze going on. So people are not getting hired, positions that get vacated cannot usually be filled. About the only way to get in is through an admin pool and those are pretty limited too.


Yet the government continues to function. Why didn't they start the hiring freeze years ago?
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#177 G-Man

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 08:33 PM

That is a good question. And one that I cannot get into unfortunately. I guess it depends on your definition of "function" and how long it is expected to do that. We can discuss in person next time I see you :)

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#178 Benezet

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 05:40 PM

"But harping on the allegedly overpaid public sector allows the Harper team to do what it does best: drive a wedge between people. Harper hopes to stoke resentments in struggling private sector workers, duping them into thinking the big rewards have gone to public sector workers rather than to where they’ve actually gone — into corporate coffers and CEO pay."

http://www.thestar.c...ar_mcquaig.html
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