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Sask municipal workers’ wages out of sync with private sector

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According to Municipal Wage Watch, a CFIB backgrounder comparing municipal public sector wages and benefits to the private sector, municipal workers in Canada continue to pressure public finances through excessive wages and benefits.

Government workers at Saskatchewan cities enjoy an average 14.1% compensation top-up over their private sector counterparts.  Across Canada the average is 22 per cent or broken down into an hourly wage, this translates into about $6.43 more per hour for the same work.

At a time when municipalities need to re-think traditional ways of financing their operations and how this affects taxpayers, cities are encouraged to take a serious look at the impact of escalating wages and benefits on their overall budgets, instead of their annual plea for additional transfers and “revenue tools.” CFIB has delivered a letter to all Saskatchewan mayors urging them to find savings within existing budgets rather than calling for additional funding from other levels of government.

Cities frequently claim they have a revenue problem, yet this lack of restraint on wages and benefits, and overall operating spending, suggests they have a spending problem.

How to close the municipal wage gap:

  • Municipalities should compare wages, benefits, and working hours to private sector data and establish appropriate compensation levels.
  • Bring government compensation in line with market norms by limiting future increases to the rate of inflation until public and private sector compensation levels are aligned.
  • Eliminate early retirement provisions in pension plans and stop banking of sick days.
  • Enroll new hires in defined contribution plans or shared risk models, rather than defined benefit plans.

Have questions? Please contact Business Resources at 1-888-234-2232.

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