April 22, 2009
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Here is a classic from my favorite newspaper in Canada the St. John Telegraph.

All taxpayers are suffering the same fate as those in St John. There is a constant demand for our tax dollars to go to fund the compensation packages of public sector employees.

As this cartoon shows the highest expense for any city in Canada is the cost of it’s compensation package. This compensation package includes the wages, benefits and pension costs of city employees.

I have done a quick analysis of the local government organizations in my community and their labour costs.
University – 50%
Local School Board – 75%
Local Hospital Estimate – 70%

These numbers include the total compensation package. The recent Ontario Sunshine List reported the employees who earned over $100,000 per year in the Province of Ontario. It did not include the cost of the non-taxable benefits for these employees. Health and fringe benefits are usually worth an additional 10% and the public sector pension is worth another 30%.

The employees on the list actually earned and additional 40% in compensation that was not reported.

So I am amused when for example, in Hamilton the city is debating whether they should fund service upgrades for handicap buses that cost $1.2 million. Last year the city budget for the compensation package was almost $500 million on a total budget of $1 billion. This was an increase of $30 million from the year before. If these salaries were brought back to the same level as those in the private sector the city would save almost $100 million.

Thanks again Telegraph for an excellent cartoon.

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