Is $100,000 still the salary it used to be?
What most Canadians know, and what Rebecca Black may no longer understand, is that $100,000 is a good amount of money.
Chances are, you don’t bring in a hundred grand each year, and that’s not a slight against you. That’s just what the numbers show.
So at a time when the average Canadian salary is $42,988, there’s an interesting discussion to be had when a new report shows more than 70,000 Ontario public workers now earn over $100,000 each year: how much is $100,000 nowadays, anyway?
That’s the basis for the argument defending the much-maligned “Sunshine List,” which details how many of Ontario’s public servants get paid more than $100,000 annually.
Supporters of the high public pay – the Sunshine List is up 11 per cent this year; 71,748 Ontario workers are now compensated over the $100,000 mark – are saying, $100,000 isn’t what it used to be. People are suggesting such a benchmark, according to 680 News, shouldn’t carry the big-money cachet it did in years past.
But shouldn’t it still? The year isn’t 1945 anymore, yet it’s not 2045, either. A hundred grand, by the numbers, is still a whopping income for most people.
According to Stats Canada, on an average level across the country, it takes a family with two earners to bring in $100,000 each year. Only in 2007 did the average Canadian family, one with children and both parents earning income, first make $100,000 annually. In 2008, the latest data available here, such a demographic earns $103,500 each year.
And that’s, again, with two people earning money. The average salary for “unattached individuals,” as classified by Stats Canada, was only $36,800 in 2008. Single-parent families earned $49,000 in Canada in 2008.
So as people like Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair earned $326,000 and Ontario Power Generation CEO Tom Mitchell brought home $1.34 million last year, it’s not that these people don’t work hard and aren’t worth the money – it’s just that it’s a bit tougher to swallow when taxpayers are footing the bill.
“I don’t disagree with those who look at very generous settlements at a time when people are losing their jobs, when other unions in the private sector are taking large concessions,” Ontario finance minister Dwight Duncan said. “It does irritate people.”
Do you think $100,000 is as much as it used to be, and are public workers paid too much, too little or just the right amount?
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
*Follow Jason on Twitter here.
Posted by: Keith Aiken | Apr 6, 2021 12:17:08 AM
That doesn't even take into account the benefits packages of medical care and pensions with no employee contributions, let alone the almost zero chance that they will lose their jobs for poor performance. I should have aimed for the middle!
Posted by: ray tate | Apr 6, 2021 12:36:52 AM
seriously, do you really believe that public servants get a pension without contributing? try 7.5% minimum on all earnings, and we also stand an equal chance of losing our jobs. Managers should manage whether they are in the private or public sector. I know an equal # of private sector employees who dont pull their weight. your stereotyping !
Posted by: Scott Mackinnon | Apr 6, 2021 12:55:58 AM
You see what this peice does? It asks you... Is a public servants salary too high? Well how much does the average public servant get paid? Does this reporter know this? Whos making 100K + ? is it the guy whos delivering mail in the freezing rain, or is it the mayor?
This article is rubbish. Its only here and meant to get you people arguing over the stereotypical public servent line of thinking. Create a rift... Create a problem... make a solution... and you know what thier solution is going to be right? Destroy the middle income earner. The guy who delivers your mail. The mayor, MLA's political heirarchy will al still be 100K + and more.
A blind man can see through this BS Article.
Posted by: Chip | Apr 6, 2021 1:12:03 AM
Of course the article is rubbish. Its author is Jason Buckland. Look up his resume under his photo on the right upper side of the page. It says it all. Surprising he actually gets paid for the drivel he writes about supposed "Money Matters". He has about as much intelligence as a 2-headed nickel... and a bank account to match. Stay away from any tips this genius offers.
Posted by: Sam Sampson | Apr 6, 2021 3:53:10 AM
What really gets me is multi-million dollar salaries of CEOs and especially sports stars.
Say the average wage for an average job is $42,988, are you really gonna tell me that the $5M sports player is working 100 times as hard as the average guy and therefore deserves a salary 100 times as great. At most, he might be worth double the average salary.
Posted by: buster1 | Apr 6, 2021 7:16:59 AM
OPG employees are paid via income from electricity sales , of which OPG is by far the lowest cost provider . Look it up before you yap .
Posted by: Birds | Apr 6, 2021 7:20:49 AM
I cannot believe I am saying this.......Go Republicans!!!!!!!! Yes I am a Canadian but none of our parties have the balls to stand up and fight the public servant sector. I'm tired of paying so much for public servants. A lot of people are tired like me. We are tired of the pay structure costs and your unions, tired of the public tantrums (strikes) and everything else that goes along with it.
Enjoy it while it lasts. Quietly, ever so quietly there is a change overcoming the way people think. Used to be that people felt they 'had the right' to turn to their governments to pay. Pay for everything. Well, it has taken a few hundred years at present and many disastrous catastrophes in the distant past, but here and there I see the beginnings of a new understanding in terms of 'having the right'.
I think it would be prudent to consider what the cost of currently maintaining the public sector with a country the size of us now and then apply properly calculated growth of inflation and population and see if we wouldn't end up buckling under the weight of the cost of the public sector when our population reaches that of the US.
The change in perception that I see, however small at the moment, contains the understanding that the answer to a lot of our financial woes involving our government stem from expecting it to pay. That includes you, Public Sector employees.
There is nothing wrong with the concept of a middle man (government). However we are human and it is never good to give a concentrated group anywhere at any time so much medium (money,the ability to create laws...) to reek havoc with. There will always be a thief born.
Posted by: Kevin Chafe | Apr 6, 2021 7:42:41 AM
So the average Canadian makes $43,000.00 ---- What does the average public servant make.And since they are Canadian is their salary included in the ave. Canadians salary.If so that drives the avg. Canadian salary way up.Why don't they show us the averege public servant's salary.I THINK WE KNOW.More B.S. politics.Lower our taxes,lower public servants salary, and lower politicians pensions.
Posted by: Trixie | Apr 6, 2021 8:07:14 AM
I agree with Kevin. Even the PM should not make more than 200, 000 a year and in my opinion, that's stretching things still. Lower our taxes, take out many, many public servants, lower the salaries of those that you must keep, take out the big benefits and the big pensions and please give some responsibility and some choice back to the common person, like myself. I'm an adult according to law, let me act like an adult and be responsible enough to make wise choices. By the way, I still believe Mr. Harper is the best way to go.
Posted by: Mike | Apr 6, 2021 8:15:06 AM
Okay people, lets a have a reality check here. We are comparing the national average which would have many many many people being underpaid and working at mininum wage, of course this will drive down the national average. The public sector employees are highly educated so of course make alot more. To make a rational comparison lets compare how much post secondary employees employees make compared to the public sector. I think you will get a better picture of what is really happening. To prove my point even more the stat quoted here says that a two income family makes 103,500. Do the math sheeple, these people are making more than the national average as well. The problem shouldn't be with the public sector it should be with the big biz and the way the expliot (screw) their employees! And yes I did make more than $100,000 and so did alot of my friends and we all work in the private sector!
Posted by: Birds | Apr 6, 2021 8:25:02 AM
It's a bit of a conundrum really. In all honesty in today's world a $100,000.00 plus perks represents middle class society. Just enough money to comfortably pay off a mortgage, have a bit of savings, a vacation away a year and some retirement security. This standard of living is not undeserved.
In one way we should learn from the actions of unions and what they have secured for their members in terms of employee value. To a great extent I think we have as conditions have improved greatly across the board for all employees union or not over the last 30 years or so.
To me, the issue is not how much the salary amount for public sector union employees is but the fact that it took a union to secure it and given the projected growth of the sector due to increased demands on the government the cost to tax payers is growing exponentially to the exclusion of other much needed expenditures. I would rather see the sector shrink in size and still continue with the current pay structure.
Then I would also like to see a movement across the private sector employees aimed at employers that rivaled the push to make government fund things. One that would secure more value for the employee at the cost of the employer. Does it really need to be that it takes a union to give employee security.
Perhaps unrealistic, quite unrealistic to expect that everyone should make 100,000 a year but not so much if considered in terms of simply making it easier for 2 income households to achieve that 100,000 mark and maybe even surpass it a bit. Even McDonalds could afford to almost double its wages and become a viable employer beyond teamwork gimmicks.
To me it makes a lot more sense to turn around and face gross profits across the business sector and put up a serious front to redirect an appropriate portion of them directly to employees paychecks than to continue this push to have the government try and replace labour gouging with funding and taxation.
Posted by: Zigler | Apr 6, 2021 8:25:13 AM
Yes,the public workers are paid extraordinarily for ordinary jobs
Posted by: Frank V | Apr 6, 2021 8:31:18 AM
It's a crying shame public servants are making so much and they are defending themselves on this board!!! But then again who is going to stop them??? Politicians or the judges, who themselves are public servants!!!! I think Canada needs a revolution to stop this crap!!!
Posted by: Robot Man | Apr 6, 2021 11:16:45 AM
My complaint is that the public servant has far more security than those working in the private sectors including those with unions. That security would be considered priceless for those who grind it out for years on end never knowing where they really stand. Not too many people can go to the banker and say I got a lifetime job and never a problem paying back.
Posted by: Andrew | Apr 6, 2021 1:43:09 PM
What you public sector employees simply fail to realize is you make on average before benefits significantly more than the average private sector worker and you get a pension to boot which almost all in the private sector have to fund 100% by themselves all while making less money. Walk into most public sector offices and oddly enough they aren't working any harder than someone in the private sector but at the end of the day they are significantly better off for the present and the future. Further job security in the public sectior is significantly better than it is in the private sector. The problem is unions that were brought in to ensure decent working conditions have become nothing but compensation negotiators. You want to feel what it is like to work in the private sector reduce your take home pay at least 20% and cover your own health benefits and try and figure out a way to fund your pension.
Posted by: Andrew has a point... | Apr 6, 2021 2:20:37 PM
Recently I've heard alot of Canadians complain about Prince William and his new bride coming to Canada and noone wants to fund it. Well, my view is, if we're funding public sector workers, gov't workers with our tax money, that don't work any harder than the private sector, why can't we fund a royal visit to Canada? I don't see any difference really.
Posted by: Northern Ontario | Apr 7, 2021 9:28:18 AM
Money is not everything but for some, a benchmark like $100K, is a goal to strive for. When you are in the latter part of High School, you begin to seriously contemplate your career path. If knowing that making $100K is considered a good accomplishment in terms of pay structure compared to the rest of society, chances are you will need to choose a harder path by sacrificing extra years in post secondary schooling. If a Dentist or Optometrist only made $75K per year, would we really choose that career path? We are not equals in our society and for that reason, our employment gives us that so called STATUS. it usually means more money in that profession but also means they also paid their dues with a University Degree. We can't all say that.
There are exceptions like some Public Servants. The majority of them do not make close to $100K. The average teacher makes $65K, the avg Policeman makes $75K and the avg nurse makes $75K. But with overtime, yes that means they put in extra hours, they can make much more. Do you not think your local MPP puts in more than 70 hrs per week and is away from home most of the time? So why not pay them accordingly. By the way, I own a business and my employees do not make close to 100K. However, I do pay the University Grad more than other employees. You put in the time and you get rewarded.
Posted by: Becca | Apr 7, 2021 1:51:59 PM
I work for gov't, federal. I turned down a private sector job with a huge bank even though the bank offered me almost double the pay, because helping people via public employment would be more fun than increasing earnings of something already too big. The pension would have been better, other benefits about the same. It took me 10 years of university to train so yes, my starting pay was larger than the Cdn. average -- mid40s 10 years ago. The work weeks have been long -- often 80 hours in the first years, and i frequently slept at night just 4 hours on my cubicle floor. My dept has always been understaffed but the work grows in size as the number of workers dwindle (retirements, mostly, not replaced by enough trainees).
Myth reality checks: The average yearly pension of government employees is about $20,000, but people who want less government quote only the highest pensions earned by the few very top managers to exaggerate and win their point. I contribute a lot to my pension plan every second week. In my department, people do get fired... it just takes a little longer than in the private sector because people are first given a chance to improve and then to request impartial reviews before they are kicked to the door for what might amount to a personality clash.
No matter how long I work there, my salary as a highly trained scientist will never approach $100G because that would require me to manage many people instead of doing the scientific work I love. I can't afford a car, I own a tiny 30-year-old condo apartment and I need a roommate to afford the mortgage/property taxes/condo fees... in other words I share the financial concerns of most average single folk. Illness may cause me to have to retire soon at too young an age, and if so my insurance plan, paid for on my pay cheque, will help me stay in my home until I am 65. Then my insurance payments will end and I will have a small pension... a bit more than $15G. Just like the rest of you, I will rely on supplements from CPP and OAS. There is no whining here, just gratitude that will I have a pension of any sort, and a hope that many of you will realise that public employees do not have it as easy and secure and well-paid as half the people in the country seem to think.
My call-out: Instead of asking for public workers to lose what they have earned and paid for and fought for via unions, it's time to demand that the larger private corps pay their employees proper pay and benefits in recognition that it is the employees who generate the profits by slinging burgers or digging pools or running machinery. If the needs of those employees are neglected then the whole economy suffers (those who are not paid the value of their work will not be able to purchase goods from any employers). Henry Ford believed that, and he was not exactly some raving communist!!
Posted by: Jack S. | Apr 10, 2021 9:52:00 PM
$100,000 salary is nothing. Who makes that kind of money? ...or worse, even less? .... unless you are a student? My income tax alone is $120,000 per year.
Posted by: don | Apr 11, 2021 12:51:39 PM
Jack S...most people make under $100,000.00. That is what is so funny. People with larger than average incomes do not realize what the majority lives on a whole lot less. You make that kind on income...... Good for you but you are not the norm. Why do you think there is all the press about having touble living on regular wages? People arent making this stuff up. It is tough to live on the average wage.I work with people all making the 6 figure mark and I am paid under the national average and it never fails to maze me how they think they are underpaid. Everyone just wants more...no matter how much they make. It is the one thing we do have in common.