Another report from the Fraser Institute has highlighted what it describes as an “unsustainable” gap between public and private sector workers.
The right-leaning thinktank says BC public-sector workers are paid about 7.4% more than their free-market counterparts.
The report finds nine out of 10 public sector workers are getting a pension that guarantees a level of benefit in retirement regardless of how investments perform, and says government workers retire two years earlier.
A similar report by the institute focusing on federal employees released last month, put the wage gap at 11%.
INTERACTIVE: B.C.’s highest paid public sector employees
But one of the report’s authors Charles Lammam is quick to say that’s a critical picture, not a rosy one.
“But this is the point though, right? It’s one thing that all these types of benefits and wages were sustainable, that they’re encroached in economic realities — (but) they’re not.”
Lamam says that puts the government in financial position it can’t sustain, adding public sector wages and benefits are determined by what he calls “political factors.”
“Not economic ones, they’re not determined by how productive workers are, they’re not dictated by hard budget constraints.”
“There’s virtually no competition in many of the government sector jobs so really the government needs to look at the private sector.”
But Paul Faoro from CUPE BC says you can’t compare the jobs done by private and public sector workers.
“You’ve seen the impact with the whole fentanyl issue and first responders,” he says.
“We’re burning people out, we need to support the public sector workers, they’re keeping people alive, keeping public services running.”
Faoro calls it a “flawed report,” and the same thing we see every year from the institute.