PREMIER CHRISTY Clark is absolutely correct when she says provincial civil servants need to be treated fairly.
Her desire, as expressed through Lieutenant-Governor Steven Point’s reading of the Speech from the Throne Oct. 3 that opened the current legislative session in Victoria, relates to the next round of bargaining for those provincial civil servants whose contracts expire next year.
They’ll be expecting wage increases after two years of a freeze.
The plan, so far from the premier, seems to be that any increases will come only if the money can be found within existing budgets.
That sounds like the start of some pretty tough negotiations. Do you pay the civil servants more to administer increasingly shrinking programs or do you hold their salaries in order to keep the spending levels of those programs intact?
The unions, because this is their job, will want more for their members. The government, because its job is to provide services for those who pay the freight, needs to look beyond public sector compensation packages and into the private sector for comparisons and contrasts.
While fairness should be a cornerstone for the civil service, the same principle needs to be applied to those who pay the bills. The recession has not been kind to wage earners outside of the public sector. The province needs to remember that going into wage talks next year.