Hourly Wage Rates for City Employees
City of Nanaimo CUPE employees are in the final year of their labour contract,which expires December 31,2010. Negotiations between the City and the Union for a new agreement will obviously commence prior to the expiry date. Over the past 4 years, and indeed for a number of years prior to that, the employees have been well served by their union.Wages and benefits for the public sector now exceed those available to workers in the private sector by a considerable margin.That might sound well and good unless you are employed in the private sector and have to pay for these generous wages and benefits which are not likely available to you and your family.
Here are several quotes from an article “Anger grows over B.C.’s great salary divide” written by Jon Ferry and published in the The Province newspaper on April 26,2010.
“…in recent years,there has clearly developed a huge-and unhealthy-divide between those on the public payroll and those who are not.In fact, B.C. appears increasingly being divided into a province of “haves” with high wages and big, fat pensions and “have-nots”…without either.”
“Increasingly, the” haves” are to be found in the public sector and the “have-nots” in private industry,the struggling engine of our sputtering economy.”
Now it’s pretty difficult to blame the Union and their members for this, as it was weak and compliant City Councils who agreed to the earlier union contracts that have led to the situation of the day.City staff who negotiated on behalf of the taxpayers were clearly out negotiated by their union counterparts and you can’t blame the Union for that.
However there is another detail in the process that should be addressed and corrected,and that is the perception of conflict of interest.
Negotiation on behalf of the City are conducted by senior staff. Once a contract is agreed upon with the Union,then non-union staff,which includes the negotiators routinely receive the same increases in wages and benefits.This is a conflict which could,and should, be resolved by the City engaging the services of an independent negotiator.A member of Council should be assigned to sit in on the discussions.
Anyone wanting to know the rates of pay for unionized employees working for the City of Nanaimo can open the attached link: Wage scale for Nanaimo municipal employees. Note that there are clerical positions classified as ‘Level 6’ that are earning an hourly rate of $26.35,which is about $48,000 per year for a 35 hour week.It is also important to note that the hourly wage rates do not include benefits,which will increase that total remuneration figure by 35 to 40%,give or take a few dollars. The $48,000 then rises to $65,000.
Now I have nothing against clerical employees, but are they really worth that level of pay?Certainly not in the private sector by a long shot. When is enough actually enough? What I really hope we don’t hear from CUPE , should negotiations for a new contract become difficult , that ” the employer is trying to balance their budget on the backs of the workers”. That would be unfortunate.
While I agree that $26.35/hour (before considerable benefits)for clerical work is outrageous – let us not forget that some of these clerical workers (certainly not all) are working much harder (read – more diligently) than their much higher paid supervisors, managers and directors. As indicated before (I know – not PC)- too many chiefs/not enough indians!
Lizzie,how about these hourly rates:
Water meter reader $24.49
Business liscence clerk $27.29
Payroll clerk $29.17
Bylaw enforcement officer $30.11
Grants coordinator $36.02*
*This position earns $252.14 for a 7 hour work day.Working 240 days per year,it amounts to $60,500.Add another 35-40% for benefits brings total to $81,675 to $84,700.
I hope for this amount of remuneration that the taxpayer can be assured there’s an awful lot of grant coordinating being done.
“City staff who negotiated on behalf of the taxpayers were clearly out negotiated by their union counterparts and you can’t blame the Union for that.” Excellent point Wayne. CUPE negotiators do exactly what we’d want them to do if they were representing your or my interest. They should be able to assume (and educate their members) that across the table representing the Nanaimo taxpayer are some equally tough and determined negotiators.
If the city has to negotiate then they better be bringing in some tough people to counteract the unions people. There is only so much money in the pot for all staff. I was hoping that the city would look at ALL the jobs and see what is really necessary and what is not. Eliminate those jobs that are redundant, in all pay categories.
Based on the size of this city I think city hall is over staff. But when you have people trying to get stupid by-laws passed, this certainly helps to keep some jobs.
Lynn: CUPE municipal workers and the City of Nanaimo recently ratified a new collective agreement … three-year deal includes a two per cent wage increase in each of the three years, as well as significant improvements to extended health care coverage. Apparently, the main concern was benefits and allowances.
“City of Nanaimo workers ratify three-year deal” http://www.cupe.bc.ca
With respect to statutory holidays, understand that the collective agreement provides that, in addition to Good Friday – which is a stat holiday – members are “entitled” to Easter Monday off with pay, even though Easter Monday is NOT a stat day in British Columbia. Wonder if the officials, who are elected to represent all citizens, are aware of this.
I just looked at the rates and compared them to another government agency and found that the equivilant position paid at the other agency is much less.
Here are some recent CUPE settlements:
Parties: Kelowna, City of AND Canadian Union of Public Employees, local 338 (Kelowna Civic). Contract expiry: December 31, 2009; 515 employees. The parties have agreed upon a 4-year agreement, effective January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2013 that provides wage increases as follows:
January 3, 2010 1.25 per cent
March 1, 2011 1.25 per cent
January 1, 2012 1.5 per cent
January 1, 2013 1.5 per cent
Improved medical and dental contribution in 2011 costing 0.5 per cent
Parties: Penticton, City of AND Canadian Union of Public Employees, local 608.
BC Bargaining database Vol. 04 No. 02 – April 2011
Contract expiry: December 31, 2009; 178 employees. The parties have agreed upon a 4-year agreement, effective January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2013 that provides wage increases as follows:
April 1, 2010 0.0 per cent
April 1, 2011 1.0 per cent
April 1, 2012 1.0 per cent
April 1, 2013 1.0 per cent
Parties: Revelstoke, City of AND Canadian Union of Public Employees, local 363.
Contract expiry: December 31, 2009; 85 employees. The parties have agreed upon a 4-year agreement, effective January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2013 that provides wage increases as follows:
January 1, 2010 1.25 per cent
January 1, 2011 1.25 per cent
January 1, 2012 1.50 per cent
January 1, 2013 1.50 per cent
− Life insurance increased to a maximum of $150,000
− Orthodontics life time maximum increase to $3,500
− Alagam fillings were eliminated – composite only
− Massage and physiotherapy increased to $500 per year
− Plan maximum increased to $1 million
I am sure more can be found. I have been told that we only compare our increases to those on the island. I find this strange as outside of Victoria, all comparisons I have seen before have been from the mainland.
I’ve read that the increase is 2/2/2, but a city employee told me today that it was 3/3/3
It was announced as 2,2,2. This is CUPE only. The rate for the IAFF or for excluded, i.e. management Staff, remains, to the best of my knowledge, unknown.
What is the ideal rate of pay? Is it based on a skill shortage? Cost of living? A particular skill set, or just because the employee needs more money for whatever reason?
What makes the same janitor worth more than another at say the school district vs city hall, or a private business vs a hospital?
The difference lies in their power to negotiate their wages. Those in a union have power, now often written into stone permanently and not only for one year at a time. In the situation where negotiations take place between parties which both have something to lose, the system can work; where either party can go broke or get up and move, negotiations may be fierce, but reach rapprochement. Management/Union negotiations in which both sides of the table had something to lose made this country and our economy. As we become increasingly tied to civil service unions this equalizing system becomes perverted. One side in the negotiations has nothing to lose and everything to gain, and the other side is represented by those who also have nothing to lose. Unions made us great. They may also destroy us as they already have in some communities in the states.
Ron..You are so incorrect in your ramblings here I can barely write! Have you ever asked the President of CUPE Local 401 about all of things they have GIVEN to this City??
I also wonder if you want everyone to be paid as little as the non unionized privater sector? YOUR taxers would skyrocket if that was the case! Which communities in the States have been destroyed by Unions Ron? Please provide facts and links.
One janitor is not worth more than the other, although perhaps the hospital janitor has to take more care given the envirnoment and should be paid more. Either way I believe this city staff is over paid, all the way around, union and non union.
I agree, unions certainly had their time and place but now with the labour laws in hand, I sometimes think that they themselves are who puts them out of a job. In these economic times diespite what the unions want to think companies can not always beef up the salaries nor the benefits.
I also believe that when a union wants to walk that the union management should be pulling in the same salary as what the union workers are. Real eay to get people worked up to think they desire a certain salary but the union management are taking not pay hits or always walking the line.
The heads of the unions are pulling in in salaries as much as most corporate CEO’s are. So please don;t telling that these CEO’s are ripping of the unions when where the hell do they think their union dues are going.
Any reasonable balance between labour and capital in our competitive model requires that there be mutual risk in bargaining. Unions operating in the public sector take little risk as their counter-party can neither go bankrupt nor can they relocate. Mega-corporations are now so large and so widely distributed across the globe that they can afford to shut down a plant knowing that their overall operations are not seriously jeopardized. Thus in the private sector unions have lost much if not most of their bargaining power and present a counter example to the civil service unions. Neither of these models is sustainable. We desperately need some cooperative model which assures that all the parts of the body politic are functioning together.