Wednesday, February 20, 2013

‘Ontario is worse than California’: Province must address soaring public sector wages to slay deficit, new study says


Ontario’s public sector workers tend to be far better off than private employees, a new study says, even as the province grapples to slay its growing deficit and curtail spending — a full half of which is dedicated to salaries, wages and benefits. 
The Fraser Institute study, to be released Wednesday, found that federal, provincial and local government employees working in Ontario earned 13.9% more wages, on average, than their private sector counterparts in April, 2011. Government workers are also three times more likely to be covered by a pension plan, far less likely to lose their jobs and, on average, set to retire more than a year earlier than private workers. 
Co-author Jason Clemens said if the Ontario government is serious about tackling the deficit — projected by the widely cited 2012 Drummond Report to hit $30.2-billion by 2017 — it will likewise need to tackle compensation. 
“Pick a joke about governments going bankrupt and California is the punch-line, but Ontario, on every measure we’ve looked at, is worse than California,” Mr. Clemens said ahead of the study’s release. 

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