Re: “Public service is not Easy Street,” Jan. 26.
While readily acknowledging that public-sector wages tend to be somewhat higher than those in the private sector, the editorial failed to mention a couple of good reasons why this is so.
First is that a far higher proportion of public-sector workers belong to unions, and unionized employees almost always earn more than non-unionized. When you compare unionized public-sector wages with unionized private-sector wages, the gap diminishes greatly. In fact, some highly skilled, specialized jobs (such as electricians, mechanics, carpenters) can and do earn more in unionized private workplaces.
Second, the majority of employees in the public sector are women, and for the past 20 or 30 years, the public-sector unions have been quite successful in fighting for pay equity. As a result, the wages of women employees in the public sector are much closer to those of male co-workers, but significantly higher than those in the non-union sector where the gender wage gap continues unabated.
When organizations like the Fraser Institute complain about the higher wages of public-sector employees, they are, by implication, suggesting that union representation in the public sector should be greatly reduced, and that women should be forced to going back to receiving inadequate pay.
Good luck with that.
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