Canadians can afford to pay public servants more out of “respect” for their work, according to Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos.
As detailed by Blacklock’s Reporter:
Duclos defended a settlement with the largest federal public service union that pays a 2.8 percent increase retroactive to 2018, a further 2.2 percent increase last year and 1.35 percent this year.
“If you look carefully you will see there was a declining scale over the settlement,” said Duclos. The three-year contract was reached July 9 with the Public Service Alliance of Canada. The union described it as fair.
The settlement falls well outside the range of the findings of the Labour Ministry’s Wage Settlements report which put average private-sector wage gains at just 1.6 percent, drawing the ire of Conservatives on the House of Commons Operations Committee.
Blacklock’s reported the tense committee exchange:
“Why would you give such a generous increase when the country is in such a raging economic downfall and running such massive deficits?” asked Conservative MP for Edmonton-West, Kelly McCauley. “Why would you give an increase far above what the private sector was giving to unionized employees?”
First, respect for the work of public servants,” replied Duclos. “Second, respect for the capacity of taxpayers to pay for the important work of the public service.”
“A trillion-dollar debt and you say they’ve got the capacity for more spending?” said MP McCauley. “Wow, that’s very generous of you on the taxpayers’ behalf.”
Prior to the recent wage settlement, the average pay of a federal employee was pegged at $73,000 a year, according to the Treasury Board. Salaries for federal executives averaged $134,000.
In contrast to every province except Quebec and Prince Edward Island, the Federal Government does not have a so-called “sunshine list” that publicly discloses salaries over $100,000.
The national debt is predicted to exceed 1 trillion dollars this year.