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Public sector pays better than private: report
Updated Mon. Jul. 30 2007 10:31 PM ET

Canada's public servants earn an average salary far higher than those in the private sector, while the core public service workforce has swelled to its largest size in a decade, according to a new report.

The Treasury Board of Canada posted the 800-page study on its website last week.

In 2002-2003, the average salary of workers in the core public service was $53,000, increasing to $73,400 when factoring in benefits.

"For me to make that amount of money, I would have to work twice as much time," tradesman Tim Cogswell told CTV News.

In the private sector, the average salary was $38,885.

Roughly three per cent of public servants earned less than $35,000, while the same amount of bureaucrats made more than $100,000.

In the early 1990s, the size of the core public service was about 245,000. But between 1994 and 1998, Jean Chretien's government slashed 75,000 jobs to help curb Canada's deficit.

By 2003, the number of public servants had bounced back to 235,000. The total number of people employed by the government increased to 351,000, excluding Crown corporations and federal business enterprises, at a cost of $25 billion per year.

"By 2002-03 then, the core federal government's effective size was at least as great as in the early 1990s," the report states.

The study also shows that civil servants took a total of 7.74 million days of leave in 2002-2003. On average, each employee took:

17.3 days for vacations
8.3 days for sick leave
1.6 days for family-related leave

"I think the whole idea that public servants are somehow overworked is just a farce," said John Williamson of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

But civil servant Shannon Steele said she earns her pay.

"Of course I get more benefits and stuff, but I think I deserve them," she said. "I do a lot of work, and it's stressful."

In fact, the study suggests bureaucrats suffer from rising rates of anxiety and depression, despite earning more pay than those in the private sector.

"Our members work in a hostile work environment where they are subjected to discrimination and harassment in the work sites," said Patty Ducharme, vice president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

The report makes 77 recommendations, focusing on how Ottawa compensates its employees and deals with unions. In particular, the study says public servants should not be quick to strike for better wage conditions.

"Exceptional bargaining strength derived from the privilege of serving the public should not justify going beyond what is reasonably comparable in equivalent circumstances in the private sector," the report states. "The time has come to search with determination for better ways to settle disputes fairly, without recourse to the strike weapon.

Critics say the government needs to rein in spending.
CTV.ca | Public sector pays better than private: report

...no ....really :rolleyes:

I think the operative phrase is FAR HIGHER........

$20,000 in benefits ON AVERAGE!!
 

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How to survive the civil service

How to survive the civil service
July 16, 2007
As a 57-year-old public servant, I feel that I owe it to the next generation to educate them in the ways of the federal government. In order to make the transition as painless as possible, I want to pass on my accumulated wisdom in the hope that new public servants can avoid many of the bureaucratic pitfalls.

First, don't drink the Kool-Aid. Remember that everyone from the deputy minister on down has to preach the gospel of "client service," "world-class organization" and "employer of choice." You can sing from the same hymn book, but don't make the mistake of actually believing what is preached.

Second, always say "yes." The key to success in the government is to be a team player. Those who turn down an assignment or refuse a request, even for a good reason, are viewed as negative malcontents.

The trick is to defer any and all tasks until they are absolutely unavoidable. In the meantime, most will simply fall away due to a change in plans, senior management or the government of the day.

Third, wait for the inevitable. The current government may be committed to changing the bureaucratic "culture," the deputy minister may be looking to shake up your organization or your supervisor may be a wild-eyed refugee from the private sector looking to make his mark at your expense.

But if there's one constant in the public service, it's that the bureaucracy doesn't change; only the faces do. Much as you hate the current situation, before you know it the government has been voted out, the deputy minister has been transferred to another department or your supervisor has been promoted beyond his level of incompetence.

Fourth, don't forget the five-year rule. For those new to government, it's tempting to believe senior management when they announce a new, dynamic employment initiative that will revolutionize the workplace. For the uninitiated, much effort can be wasted buying into and contributing to such programs. But any public servant who has been in government for 10 years or more knows such grand schemes appear in five-year cycles and disappear a year or two later.

The way to survive such quinquennial exercises is, as always, to say "yes." But don't spend any time on these bureaucratic white elephants. Just smile and wait for their inevitable demise.

Fifth, do not exercise any of your rights. The bureaucracy is replete with employee "rights," everything from upward feedback to reclassification to a formal grievance. But those measures are not designed to be used; they're just progressive window dressing for the employer.

Those naive enough to exercise their "rights" will soon regret it as they are isolated and labelled troublemakers. So if you ask management or human resources about pursuing a particular remedy and someone replies, "It's your right," that's the time to back off and reaffirm your commitment to the team.

And finally, the most important lesson you can learn is that the best way to work in the government is not to work for the government at all; be a consultant. As a consultant, you'll get twice the pay, half the headaches and, by the time anyone realizes your work is useless, you've moved on to the next project and an even higher "per diem" rate.

Remember, whatever career you choose in government, there's no life like it. After all, where else can you drink coffee all day long and pretend that "policy analyst" or "associate program assistant" is a real job? Welcome aboard and enjoy the ride.
http://www.thestar.com//www.thestar.com/comment/article/236214
 

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Expenditure Review of Federal Public Sector - Volume One - The Analytical Report and Recommendation - Part 8 of 20

It is important to compare apples to apples, not Tim Horton's to the Department of Finance. Still, it looks like there are some problems. I would expect the overall average to be higher due to the higher skills requirements but have seen evidence in the past that some job categories are over-paid, while many of the top-skilled jobs are underpaid and, in general, the civil service can be management-heavy. The result I have observed is high turnover of highly skilled individuals and low turnover at lower skill levels.

Good luck to government in getting something done.
 

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I work with the public service of Newfoundland for an educational institution. I can tell you that our employees are generally paid less than much private business. We have a very difficult time retaining and attracting staff because of this. We do generally have better benefits.

Part of the reason we (NL provincial) have better benefits is that for many years government froze or rolled back wages. To make the bitter pill easier to swallow benefits were increased.
 

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Provincial governments generally pay less than the Federal government and, between provinces, the have-not governments generally pay less than the haves. Part of it can be justified by generally lower costs of living and competition (private industry jobs are generally not as lucrative in the area) but, when I have scanned some Atlantic provinces' government job ads, they looked extremely low.
 

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Public servants often trade higher wages for job security. For those of you not following along, that means they get paid less. Some of these figures are of course skewed by the high end, as are private sector wages. Doctors at the University of Toronto medical school, for example, making $400,000 per year on average, are "public servants" and figure into those averages. But I think their time spent "looking out the window," on average, is somewhat lower than your average tradesperson.
 

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The report, as it deals with averages; (at least what ws posted) is loppsided. The real difference is in the low end of the spectrum as well as the high end. The private sector is filled with many people that can make 100s of thousands of dollars. I don't tihnk they're are many posiitons in the government that earn more than 150K. These are EX level positions saved for senior director generals, CIOs, and top level executives. Anyone in the EX group can be fired on the spot, they basically act as private sector employees.

The lower end of the pay spectrum in the gov't is higher than what compares to private I will admit.

I'm a senior database analyst; I don't complain about pay but can make about 15-20K more in private sector consulting; I know because I turn down offers from time to time. I stay in the gov't because I love what I do, the poeple are awesome and the security is there. (I got benefits from my old consulting firm and was well taken care of).

The other thing that the report deosn't demonstrate is that many of the big companies have fired all their employees and re-hired them back as cheap consultants. Look at Bell; everyone know of Entourage? They are all old Bell employees now making $10 and hour to do what they did before for twice that.
 

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I, like Paul, work for an "educational institution" here in NL. As a professor in Memorial University, we don't enjoy some of the benefits that other public service workers get here in NL. I have seen some good public servants and some poor public servants, and many in-between. All I know is that I consider myself a good public servant, and my student ratings over the past 30 years would justify this claim.
 

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The report, as it deals with averages; (at least what ws posted) is loppsided.
Along the lines of your post, here is some more from the report:
Expenditure Review of Federal Public Sector - Volume One - The Analytical Report and Recommendation - Part 7 of 20

The Federal government has a much lower proportion of its employees below $40k than the private sector, and a much higher proportion in the $40k to $100k bracket. Much of that is probably explained by average education levels (anybody have data?) and job-types, but the whole gap?

Of note the Feds have 2% of employees in the $100k+ bracket versus 8% in the private sector.

Looking closer, you see the same thing for some broad job categories.
http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/spsm-rgsp/er-ed/vol1/images/er33_e.gif


From the report:

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Federal wages are relatively egalitarian

Fourth, the distribution of federal public sector wages by level of annual earnings is more concentrated than for the overall Canadian private sector. As Figure 1024 illustrates, about 60% of federal public sector workers were earning between $40,000 and $80,000 as reported in the 2000 Census, versus only about 35% of private sector employees. In this sense, the federal public sector wages distribution could appropriately be described as relatively egalitarian. This pattern has prevailed at least since the time of the Glassco Commission whose report observed the same pattern of paying equal to or better than comparable jobs in private industry in the "lower grades" of the federal public service, with senior administrative (i.e. executive) and professional posts "at a marked monetary disadvantage in competition with private industry."
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Just for you RTWOM :)
Note to others, "CS" is Computer Systems:

............................
Overall, Watson Wyatt concluded:

"We are able to say that the [federal] public sector is not underpaying the CS1to CS3 levels. However, the public sector is underpaying the CS4 and CS5 levels. This conclusion is based both on the base salary comparison and on the total cash compensation comparison."
............................


Given your personal experience, does that sound about right?
 

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it's unethical to bill a client for looking out the window
at least it is for me
:eek:
Oh, I'm sure it's unethical. But I'm also sure there isn't a single person who doesn't "massage" numbers every once in a while.

I used to work with an individual who dabbled in creative math to increase their invoice for the sole purpose of squeezing a few extra dollars... especially with cheaper clients. :D
 

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Oh, I'm sure it's unethical. But I'm also sure there isn't a single person who doesn't "massage" numbers every once in a while.

I used to work with an individual who dabbled in creative math to increase their invoice for the sole purpose of squeezing a few extra dollars... especially with cheaper clients. :D
perhaps you'd edit your earlier post;

Yeah, I'm sure you do.
to something like "Yeah, I'm sure some/most do."
 
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