Standing up for public sector employees

Dear editor,
As a proud public sector employee, I am fed up with Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) crusade against Canada’s public servants.

Dear editor,As a proud public sector employee, I am fed up with Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) crusade against Canada’s public servants.The organization’s latest campaign against us continues to portray public service workers as overpaid individuals whose only interest is to retire at taxpayers’ expense. It is time to set the record straight.First, we do not receive a substantially larger average pension than private-sector employees.The average public sector worker’s pension is currently in the $25,000 range — does anybody really consider this an indecent figure these days? We also contribute, on average, considerably more to our pensions than do those private sector workers who have a pension plan.Second, despite the CFIB’s repeated comments on the Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP), there is absolutely no need for the government to step in and “do something before it’s too late.”The latest actuarial report shows that the PSPP is in good health, and that it will remain so for decades to come. Where’s the “funding crisis” that Laura Jones, senior vice-president research, economics and Western Canada with the CFIB, refers to?Third, as a person who has been employed by the federal government for over 28 years I have never heard the phrase “Come for the maternity leave, stay for the pension.” Perhaps she heard it in her own workplace?As to comparing Canada with Greece, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development says Canada is one of the healthiest countries fiscally. Comparing or suggesting we are like Greece is fear-mongering.We in the public sector certainly do not enjoy much influence over our national government — the one that continues, year after year, budget after budget, to try to impose restrictive wage, pension and benefit concessions on us with no regard for the impact these will have on the services we deliver to Canadians. Local business owners should ask themselves if the CFIB really has their best interest at heart. Despite what the CFIB says, we are not their enemy! We are their customers, family and friends, and we have always supported Canada’s small businesses and entrepreneurs.Anybody can stand on a soapbox and point fingers at so-called “government fat cats.” Why don’t Laura Jones and the CFIB put the interests of Canadians first and provide better wages and working conditions for private-sector employees instead of promoting a race to the bottom in the name of tax cuts and almighty profit?Karen Weller,Courtenay

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