GUNTER: Union wage demands border on ridiculous

GUNTER: Union wage demands border on ridiculous

Breadcrumb Trail Links Columnists Public Service Alliance of Canada logo seen on Tuesday December 20, 2022. Photo by ERROL MCGIHON /POSTMEDIA Content of article

Two major federal unions — the Union of Taxation Employees (UTE) and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) — are demanding huge pay rises. Outrageous raises. Increases that could well be called “crazy” in the real world.

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However, public sector unionists increasingly no longer exist in the real world. They live and work in isolated bubbles where they see themselves as vital custodians of all things good. Many also feel overworked and, of course, underpaid for the absolutely essential services they provide.

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The UTE wants annual increases of about 10% per year for three years. And PSAC wants wage increases and benefit improvements of nearly 14% a year over the same period.

Imagine the arrogance and distorted mindset that would even consider asking for such a raise when many Canadians are struggling to pay for groceries, heat and electricity. Who are these unionists who dare to demand such a bounty when the country is facing a recession and a sizeable chunk of Canada’s private-sector workforce is facing layoffs — layoffs caused by a recession at the hands of the very government was created for which these trade unionists work.

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Of course, the people struggling to survive and worried about their own job security are also the same taxpayers who would have to fund whatever wage demands the Liberal government gives in to.


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To give you an idea of ​​what you’re funding, the Parliamentary Budget Office says federal spending on public sector salaries and benefits “is expected to grow to nearly $55 billion this year — or about $130,000 a year.” full-time employees”.

That’s more than 30% more than the average cost per employee in the private sector. Even before the current wage demands, federal civil servants are a very well-paid class. In general, they have higher pay, better benefits, richer pensions, work fewer hours and have almost no chance of being fired.

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According to Franco Terrazzano, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, “there have been NO federal public sector pay cuts during the pandemic.” Far from it.

The CTF calculates that between 93% and 97% of the federal workforce received raises during COVID.

Tens of thousands of federal employees also received bonuses in excess of their comfortable base salaries and raises.

The CTF says its study of federal payroll statistics found that “a total of 114,433 federal government employees received more than $100,000 in salaries in 2021.” That’s a 53% increase in less than two years from nearly 75,000 before the pandemic.

That means nearly 40% of federal employees make more than six figures a year, just in salary. That doesn’t include their many perks.

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And for what?

Seventy percent of federal employees still work from home with about one-third to one-half their productivity in the office.

You cannot run airports smoothly. They cannot issue passports on time. Cannot find adequate supply of children’s medications or conduct tax audits. Canada Revenue Commissioner memos uncovered late last year fear many audits of suspected tax dodgers are being reversed because auditors are neither in the office nor willing to visit taxpayers’ homes or offices.

Federal officials remain good at devising environmental policies aimed at shutting down the oil and gas industry. They can dream up completely irrational plans to electrify every car and light truck in the country in ridiculously short timescales, with a price tag of $100 billion for taxpayers and car buyers.

And they can invent gun bans and bail and probation policies that punish law-abiding citizens and encourage criminals to commit more crimes.

And they can’t wait to regulate internet content.

All for just $130,000 per employee per year.

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