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NELSON: Pay Port Moody councillors more and make them full-time
FACE TO FACE: Should Port Moody city councillors get a pay raise?
Port Moody city councillors are looking for a raise. They should give themselves one.
No one likes that politicians can give themselves pay hikes but in PoMo over the years, councillors have lost in negotiations with themselves.
City of the Arts councillor salaries are 30% lower than PoCo’s and more than 50% lower than those in Coquitlam.
Well, Port Moody council is now ready for prime time, like its Tri-City counterparts. With the potential new development surrounding the Evergreen Line, the Murray Street corridor imperative and the explosion of Newport Village and Suter Brook, Port Moody needs full-time councillors, not ones paid a stipend to wedge in a few council meetings around a 40-hour work week.
But none of this cuts any mustard with my colleague and others who have drunk the Fraser Institute Kool-Aid. To them, all pay increases hurt the economy, especially those public sector ones that use up valuable revenue, which should be earmarked for corporate welfare and tax breaks.
And what about public sector bureaucrats making as much as their private sector counterparts? Why not? As a matter of fact, most public services are more valuable than some private businesses.
Whoa! Breathe, Andy, breathe.
My friend, I know you’ve been dying to delineate the invisible advantages the public sector enjoys over the private sector: no competition, networking advantages, public profile and gold-plated pensions and working conditions.
I even agree with you. But I don’t agree with your remedy. Instead of slashing our public sector in the race to the bottom you and the Fraser Institute envision, we should instead give tax incentives to private companies that raise wages. We should encourage and help subsidize respectable company pensions, and we should encourage collective bargaining.
Because, Andy, it’s the private sector that’s out of whack, not the public sector.
Private sector workers should make a reasonable wage, be represented by a union and have meaningful pensions.
Why do you let the top 1%, the private sector money hoarders, off? How can they completely escape your wrath?
You’re cracking down on jaywalking while people are being mugged and beaten.
Let’s just lay off the public sector for a while and let Port Moody councillors have their raises.
Face to Face columnist Jim Nelson is a retired Tri-City teacher and principal who lives in Port Moody. He has contributed a number of columns on education-related issues to The Tri-City News.