It’s time to align public sector incentives with private sector (Guest commentary)

Public sector must be weaned off defined benefit pension plans
By Mark Milke
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/22/2010

If there was an Olympic medal for pay and benefits, Canada’s public sector would take home the gold. The sector shows a remarkable ability to insulate itself from economic reality.

Public sector work is both more secure — it’s not as if governments will declare bankruptcy — and, on average, more lucrative than the private sector when it comes to pay and benefits.

Municipal, provincial and federal civil servants are paid much more on average when compared to equivalent job classifications in the private sector, according to a recent Frontier Centre for Public Policy study. For example, the Canada-wide average pay premium was 59 per cent for federal civil servants over the private sector equivalent, an average of 35 per cent provincially and eight per cent municipally.