I work for a small municipality in rural BC and on reading articles like this, I understand the outrage of many Americans toward the bloat and excess of their government structure, particularly when the private sector and individual households are struggling.

Only one city employee had a base salary topping $300,000. Nathaniel Ford, executive director of the Municipal Transportation Agency, made $332,489.

Mayor Gavin Newsom had a base salary of $250,903 in 2009, which put him 29th on the list of best-paid city employees.

The ballooning number of highly paid workers is driven by several factors, including inflation, a persistent reliance on overtime and generous contracts in a city known for its politically potent unions.

Read more: San Francisco Chronicle – 1 in 3 San Francisco employees earned $100,000

To put British Columbia into perspective, the Vancouver Sun ran an article in December 2009 outlining the top pay packets in the public sector of BC, including Crown Corporations, Provincial Government, Local Government, Municipal Police, Health Authorities and Universities and Colleges.

A total of 759 B.C. public servants make more than $200,000 a year, according to an exclusive database of government pay compiled by The Vancouver Sun. The list of high earners is dominated by Crown corporation executives, health authority chief executives and judges.

Read More: More than 750 public-sector employees earn $200,000 or more

BC Ferries

and in a stroke of genius, it seems that the BC government has realized either:

a) that the BC Ferry Corporation does not need a million dollar CEO, or
b) that the public was on the brink of civil disobedience at the pay levels…

B.C. Transportation Minister Shirley Bond says million-dollar paydays at BC Ferries are sinking fast.

The Liberal government has introduced legislation that drops annual salaries for BC Ferries executives to levels more accustomed to public sector bureaucrats as opposed to top executives at Coca Cola, Nike and Ford.

via CTV British Columbia – Government sinks BC Ferries’ hefty executive salaries – CTV News.

There is always a balance point, and I am glad to see that Minister Bond has the sense to correct this. I am sure there will still be debates over how much these executives get paid as it is unlikely that their pay will drop to anything near what the majority of my readers earn.

Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.