As Alberta’s provincial and municipal governments grapple with declining oil revenues and a weakening economy, a sober review of government spending should be part of any belt-tightening initiative. One place to start is the compensation of government employees, a key spending item for all governments.
Government workers in B.C. make more, receive better pensions, and retire earlier than private sector workers in similar positions
Tim Hudak, Ontarios Progressive Conservatives leader, boldly started a conversation about fundamental reform of labour regulations governing unionization in 2012. He recently, and nearly as boldly, walked back from such commitments, largely out of political necessity. However, such necessity does not negate the importance of such laws for Ontarios competitiveness.
After several months of labour activists putting pressure on the Ontario government to increase the provincial minimum wage, Premier Kathleen Wynne finally succumbed and announced that she will increase it to $11 per hour from the current $10.25 rate.
What a world it would be if governments could simply legislate higher pay for low-wage workers without any ill effects. But we live in the real world and here public policy should be informed by evidence, not just good intentions. The reality that many labour activists fail to realize is that when governments mandate wage floors, there are real adverse effects. And the people hurt are often the most vulnerable with the least skills.