City must rein in its labour costs

When the salaries of the highest-paid individuals working for Victoria are listed each year, it routinely causes people to gasp.

When the salaries of the highest-paid individuals working for the City of Victoria are listed each year, it routinely causes many in the community to gasp.

Whether such reactions are a realization of the wage disparity between those who run the City and themselves, or simply a disdain for those who happen to make a handsome wage, the numbers always come as a shock when they appear in print.

The media don’t tend to ask those whose salaries are listed how they feel about having not just their income, but their annual raises publicized for all to see. In the public-sector work world, however, that goes with the territory.

But before we start grousing about the pay increases of those in charge at city hall – who are, by the way, generally paid in line with people doing similar jobs in similar-sized cities – we should remember that the City is doing little to hold the line on labour costs during this time of financial stress.

Union employees at the City earned annual raises of three per cent through the recession. And while their new contract reduced the annual hike to two per cent, management’s salary increases are tied to those of union members. Compare that to provincial government employees who have endured wage freezes for years.

With the City looking at cutting millions from its budget to keep property tax increases manageable, such continual wage hikes seem out of touch with reality.

So where does that leave the average taxpayer? Until those we elect to council show the courage and strength to stand up for the financial well-being of those who voted them in, things won’t change. Victoria property owners can expect ongoing increases to their tax bill.

Council members, who make far less than their senior staff, ultimately have the final say on the purse strings.

It’s time for them to take a serious look at reining in labour costs instead of axing valuable programs to balance their budget.

Just Posted

Canada Women’s Rugby 7s Team land at home after series triumph

Next stop at Langford offers Olympic qualification

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Two-sailing waits continue Victoria to Tsawwassen

Backlog continues despite extra sailings over Easter

Saanich soccer player survives bout with flesh eating disease

Harinder Sandhu picked up the disease after soccer game

Second earthquake in less than two hours strikes off Vancouver Island

The first earthquake happened at 1:27 p.m., the second at 2:44 p.m.

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

United Way opens grants to help charities tackle social issues

Charities north of the Malahat can apply for grants $2,000 to $20,000

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Man’s body found in popular Cowichan Valley hiking area

Police say death not suspicious after discovery in Stoney Hill area overlooking Saltspring Island

Multiple sailing waits as BC Ferries deals with Easter Monday traffic

89 extra sailings had been added to the long weekend schedule

Vancouver Island-based company provides glass alternatives to plastic straws

Enviro Glass Straws now producing more than 60,000 straws each year

Most Read