Municipal salaries way too high

Comparing public service wages to commercial private enterprises is way off the mark.

Municipal salaries way too high

Municipal salaries way too high

I was sorry to read Ms. Rondeau’s attempt to deflect focus away from the issue of municipal high wages and impose guilt or shame on the readers for speaking up.

Comparing public service wages to commercial private enterprises is way off the mark. Two totally different environments. Ms. Rondeau should know that. Corporate executives account to directors and shareholders to justify their wages. No earnings, no increase and a kick in the butt as they go out the door. Public employees get a shrug of the shoulders and go for training.

In truth the municipal wage situation is only the symptom of a public administration gone wrong. (see below)

What has happened over the last two decades is municipal, provincial and federal government workers especially at executive levels have turned the tables and they no longer consider themselves public or civil servants. They now see themselves to be managers of public interests. Their perspective is “if it suits me it WILL suit the public, I run the place and I will do it my way”. How they got away with it is those whom we the people elected to oversee and protect our interests are now more interested in protecting themselves or their political alliances rather than serving the people.

Devana was fired. Reasons for dismissal is none of OUR business. SO if the people who made the decision are gone so is the corporate history and the same mistakes can be repeated. The kicker…we don’t even know what is expected of them. Where are our elected representatives? They seem to be cowering in the corner afraid of being noticed.

Jon Lefebure, in his last interview, outlined just how bad the salary situation is being managed by those with the most interest in how it is managed. He outlined how staff move from local municipality to local municipality, pilfering of staff from each other, and with each move the employee’s salary probably increases. They also employ consultants who do not wander off-Island to compare salary ranges. They compare local municipalities (inbreeding) with each other so if John in Langford gets $25 /hr North Cowichan deserves the same. But wait, he will get a two per cent raise, so you deserve that too before we negotiate your annual wage increase. But wait look CVRD! North Cowichan is paying 28.50/ hr so you deserve as well etc. etc. and so the cycle has been spiraling upward not based on merit or value for service, but instead based on what the folks down the street are getting.

Devana was paid $195K plus perks. The new guy will get roughly the same if not more and that on Vancouver Island is the equivalent of getting half to three quarter of a million dollars in Toronto or Calgary.

Since the highly well compensated, go to, consultants only keeps their recommendations in the family and does not include off-Island wage comparisons. This writer decided to look around. This is what he found.

1) North Cowichan Pop. 29,000 with one large industry: top exec earns $195K. Apparently we Islanders only hire the best.

2) Premier of B.C. Pop 3.4 million. How much industry? Obviously more than one, earns $198K.

3) Deputy premier for B.C. Pop 3.4 million. Thousands of employees, earns $315K (2014/15) (Not even double N. Cowichan).

4) Seattle Pop 704,352. Thousands of industries. Highest level executive earns starting at $139K, mid-range $184K, max $229K.

5) Toronto Pop. 9.2 million, city manager (2016) earns 350K.

6) Calgary Pop 1.2 million, city manager (2016) earns $265K-$350K.

This writer believes we should pay fair wages based on the area in which we reside. Our so-called guardians of the public interest should consider paying reasonable wages based on local conditions not based on what the employee thinks they deserve. If municipal employees want to earn the big bucks they should do what what the rest of us have to do, go to the private sector and join the risk-takers, earn what they want to take home, or they can move to those places where they actually have to earn the big bucks. For example they can join our kids, move to the north or to Vancouver or Toronto and Calgary.

Pat Sullivan

Lake Cowichan