12.21.2011 10:56 AM

Bonus schmonus

My friends at the Sun, and others, have a story up this morning about Ontario public servants getting bonuses. Here’s what the stories don’t say:

  • Um, they’re not bonuses. In 1996, Mike Harris changed the way management in the public service was paid, and took a portion of their salary and tied it to performance.  And in the election Tim Hudak pledged to expand it.
  • The managers have a portion of their salary that is related to their performance. It’s not automatic. They have to earn it. One would think that’d be something conservatives would approve of, but I guess not.
  • In 2009, McGuinty slashed the pool of possible recipients by 30 per cent, and froze salaries. So he’s gone beyond an actual freeze and cut the amount paid out by a third.  That sort of thing didn’t happen in the Harris/Eves/Hudak years, as I recall.  All they did was close hospitals, close hospital beds, and fire nurses.
  • Nobody can rewrite the employment contract terms of 8000 people retroactively. If you know how to do so, without kick-starting multi-million-dollar lawsuits, fill me in.
  • Again, so no one misses the point, including Tea Party North: Hudak said he’d expand bonuses for health care managers – despite the fact that he’s now supporting Flaherty’s plan to allow for privatization of health care, and closure of hospitals, etc.



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    Tim Lemieux says:

    No one who reads the Sun will ever vote Liberal, so why don’t they fight back more on stories like this? I have a friend in the OPS who says they waste huge amounts of time and (taxpayer!) money trying to answer nonstop access to information requests from the Sun and the Tories. They run around in a panic when a story like this comes out.

    I’m not a Liberal supporter, but I’d love to see McGuinty just come out and tell the Sun and its moron readers to get stuffed.

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      Warren says:

      With the exception of their in-house communist, naturally.

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    gec says:

    The attack on the civil service has begun. Its all their fault that the bank failures of 2007 happened. It was the Teachers retirement fund that caused the crash of the economy. Ontario was recently rated as having the best educational system in Canada. I think they should look at that again because people actually think the civil service is overpaid. The ignorant, idiotic, radical, extremist corporate voices of the Sun, the Globe and the National Post have taken over the discussion. Its time for us on the left to start calling a spade a spade. The government in Ottawa and the corporate media are the tools of a radical right wing religious corporate class. The left must start shouting these bastards down before they destroy our country and they make serfs of our children.
    BTW Am i mistaken but wasnt Harper and his band of clowns found in contempt of parliament for not releasing the cost to Canadians of the new crime bill? Are they not doing the same thing now? Is there any recourse Canadians can take for this unlawful action?

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      Justin says:

      The mantra of the right wing corporate media should be ‘you’re free to do as we tell you’.

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    Harith says:

    To the average TorSun reader (angry right-wing anti-left tory taxpayer living in the 905/416) it’s still “that fucker McGuinty giving away my taxpayer money.”

    The editors of the Sun know their audience and know that it’s just more shit to inflame their sensibilities and further enshrine their confirmation bias about the Ontario Liberals.

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    The Other Jim says:

    Warren – Thank you for sharing the facts of this story. Listening to the inaccurate commentary on the issue this morning was driving me nuts!

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    Marc L says:

    Warren, what do you think a bonus is? It is usually — at least in principle — tied to performance. It is never called “bonus”. but “incentive pay” or something of the sort. And it’s a good idea.

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      Warren says:

      It’s part of their remuneration. It’s salary.

      Anyway, take it up with your hero Mike Harris. He did it, not me.

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        Bill says:

        Times have changed since 1996. Point is the public service doesn’t require or deserve more money. Not a cent more, infact the salary and pensions should be reduced to reflect todays reality. Not sure why liberals are so willing to spend, spend and spend more. All government employees (all levels) need to wake up and realize that 60% of hardworkers and 40% of slackers can no longer be funded. Hoping for a big reduction in public service.

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          Jason King says:

          Im hoping for a big reduction in your windbagginess but I dont see that coming in 2012

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            Bill says:

            Just speaking the truth. You must work for the government….

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          Justin says:

          And what are the so called ‘realities’ of living in servatude?

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    Bill says:

    “Public salaries are in line with those tied to comparable position in the private sector” That statement is just not true. Factor in the penision and things get even more out of wack. I’m not picking on the public service individual. I think many do great work and are very competent, professional, hard working people. However as a system it needs repair. To much dead wood, to many not required programs/departments. Bottome line, to much waste. 30000 reduction would results in over 2 billion yearly savings. The government would still function just fine with this reduction. If not a big reduction, then the current cost per employee structure needs to get fixed, fast.

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    gec says:

    I’m betting Bill works for one of the consulting firms the Tories love to hire. You know …the ones who think governments should be run like a business. The same ones who believe in a faith based ideology ….. facts be damned. The ones who want to outsourced everything. The list is long against your belief in privatization …. or do you think the 407 was a great deal for Ontario taxpayers. And your twisted ideas that by making everyone poorer we will get out of this huge mess (created by the insane right wing economic ideology) is just ignorant.
    You have swallowed the kool aid my friend and really need to be educated. Ever think of reading something that doesnt come from the Tory party or the corporate press.
    “The Harper government is paying a management consulting firm almost $90,000 a day for advice on how to save money.
    Deloitte Inc. was hired on Aug. 15 on a $19.8-million contract to advise the federal cabinet and senior officials on finding enough savings to balance the books by 2014.”
    Isnt that the same group Harris hired? I bet they showed Flaherty how to hide a 5.5 billion deficit from Ontario taxpayers. BTW your hero Flaherty has had 9 chances to balance the budget …. he has never once managed to do it. But to you, your beloved radical Tories are great fiscal managers.

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      The Doctor says:

      So in your opinion, what should Flaherty do in order to balance the next budget? I gather from your post that it must be a simple thing to accomplish. Please enlighten us.

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        Bill says:


        You assume way to many things. I’m not a liberal hater or a Conservative lover. However at this point in time I think the country needs a strong blue government. Point is things have changed, the debt has accumulated since the 70’s. If you add the federal, provincial and house hold dept Canada is in very bad shape. I would like to see a 10 year plan to get this debt under control. My concept on reduction will not make everyone poorer as you suggest, I’m talking about a 7% reduction Canada wide, far from Armageddon. another opition – We could reduce pay by 10% across the board and have no layoffs….take your pick. Also, I’m ok with TAX increase, just don’t spend it away…..pay down the debt.

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