Ben Eisen of the Frontier Centre of Public Policy reported on public administration wage growth over the past decade – comparing remuneration for bureaucrats with that received by private sector employees doing comparable jobs.
The numbers came from Statistics Canada data and they showed:
Across the economy, wages grew by 30 per cent. Wages for Ottawa bureaucrats increased twice as fast.
The wage gap between typical private sector workers and federal bureaucrats increased 250 per cent, from just under $10,000 in 1998 to $25,000 in 2009.
If you look at the question in terms of potential money saved had the wages of bureaucrats increased at the same rate as the productive economy, in 2009, taxpayers would have saved $1.6 billion.
The Calgary Herald reported on this comparative report:
Over the past decade, the average number of days bureaucrats take off each year has increased by 40 per cent. Compared to private sector workers, bureaucrats fall ill nearly twice as often. “Uncertified” sick leave, that is, absence without a doctor’s note, has increased 74 per cent. A Carleton University professor explained this was because of stress, demoralization and hard work. Laziness was not mentioned.
One explanation, advanced by the head of the bureaucrats’ union, John Gordon, was that “the workload increases every day.” Perhaps the economic value of the skills and experience of these people are worth it.
Eisen suggested another explanation. Public sector unions are able to extract what economists euphemistically call “rents” (and the rest of us call extortion) because the public sector strikes are a big problem for governments. So they buy labour peace with taxpayers’ money.
Read more of the Herald’s article here (editor’s warning: some of the contents are graphic and could cause vomiting):