With the publication of municipal and provincial employee salaries this week there has been much interest and coverage of who makes how much. Understood, but not openly discussed, is the question of whether these individuals really ‘earn’ these salaries, all of them in excess of $100,000. Here are my quick comments.

I have no issue with public employees being fairly paid for their work. Taking a quick look at the list of our local municipal employees I see nothing inappropriate. I am surprised to see that the Director of Public Works did not make the list. That seems to be a substantial job with considerable responsibility, which is being very well managed.

Looking at the larger provincial wide list I am reminded why so many younger people want to become police, fire fighters, teachers and nurses. Beyond the considerable job security enjoyed by these professions, and the substantial retirement benefits, there is the opportunity to earn a very attractive wage. This is especially true for those individuals who take on more responsibility and move into management positions. The challenge, as many young people have found, is being accepted into these jobs. Many apply, fewer are accepted. It’s a bit like applying to, and being accepted at, the most prestigious US and Japanese universities. If you can get in, you are pretty much ensured a great job so long as you don’t mess up.

So take a look at the list and move on. If you want these jobs, get the required education, the necessary experience, and apply. There is always room for capable individuals who can assume responsibility and lead.

Heading in the Right Direction? (March 2013)ParrySights-3257