As the Alberta government gets set for the release of the provincial budget next week, a new study has revealed there’s still a sizeable pay gap between public and private sector workers.
The Fraser Institute has found public sector wages are, on average, 7.9 per cent higher than those for comparable work in the private sector.
As well, federal, provincial and municipal workers in the province enjoy more generous non-wage benefits.
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The conservative think tank says closing this pay gap would help the government in its struggle with a huge deficit and growing debt.
“Compensation consumes a large chunk of any government’s annual program spending and in the case of Alberta’s provincial government, which is struggling with persistent deficits and growing debt, closing the pay gap between public and private-sector workers would help reduce spending without affecting services,” said Charles Lammam, director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute.
LISTEN: Public sector workers making more in Alberta
Here’s a closer look at the study’s findings:
- Pensions: Over 70 per cent of government employees in Alberta are covered by a defined benefit pension plan—which offers a guaranteed level of benefits in retirement—compared to under 10 per cent (7.6 per cent) in the private sector.
- Early retirement: Government employees in Alberta retire 1.1 years earlier, on average, than the province’s private-sector workers.
- Personal leave: Government employees in Alberta are absent from their jobs for personal reasons 73 per cent more often than private-sector workers—10.7 days compared to 6.2 days.
- Job security: Government employees in the province enjoy much more job security and are nearly 11 times less likely to experience job loss than private-sector workers—0.4 per cent compared