Re: “Victoria seeks budget tips,” Jan. 19.
I attended the first of the budget conversations for the city of Victoria on Jan. 19. Here are my suggestions for reducing expenses
• Roll back to two per cent per year the salary increases that have been implemented over the last five years for exempt staff (those who are not covered by collective agreements, and who each cost the city, on average, more than $100,000 per year), and do the same for any city staff now making more than $100,000 per year.
• Stop the replacement of the Johnson Street Bridge and do the necessary upgrades and maintenance instead.
I was informed by the mayor that those salaries are only in the 75th percentile — in other words, a person in Calgary doing the same job is making more money than that person here in Victoria.
That is a red herring. The comparison should not be between the rich and the rich, but between the rich and the poor. Look at the minumum wage in this province, or the wage of unionized workers here in the city. Can we justify paying city staff such lucrative salaries while the rest of us cannot even keep pace with the rising cost of living?
J. L. Smith
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