Saultonline.com received the following release from Mayoral candidate Ted Johnson
I stated in Monday night’s Mayoral debate that I had a plan. I’ve spoken to people, at numerous Ratepayer meetings and individually on the street. By listening to what they have been saying I was able to formulate viable ideas. So here is installment number one of my plan to return the City of Sault Ste. Marie to sustainability.
Sunshine for All, Not Just a Few
The Sunshine List is published each year, listing off the public employees who make over $100,000 per year. Since as of the last census Canada’s median income was about $27,600 it means the people on this list are making more than 3 times the amount of half of all Canadians. I don’t know about you, but in my books this is a grave social injustice. People trying to get by on under $30,000 a year should not be funding the salaries of public servants making more than 3 times that. It is ethically and morally wrong in addition to being financially unsustainable. A hiring freeze needs to be put in place until the following is implemented.
The city needs to institute a better hiring policy, one which addresses this imbalance. New hires have to be willing to sign a contract which has a wage ceiling clause included. No city employee, no matter what their position or years of service can ever exceed this ceiling. The contract must also state that it superceeds any and all union negotiations or cases of arbitration, including future ones. Failure to sign will result in the individual not being hired and the next person in line for the position will then be offered the job. I propose the initial ceiling be 3 times the Median Income level, for Sault Ste. Marie the last census said this was $25,500. So the ceiling would be $76,500 a number well below the Sunshine List threshold of six figures. This would help to constrain future budgets and benefit the community as a whole rather than just a privileged few.
Immediately the naysayers will state that this cannot be done. In reply to that I will say that there is nothing in the legislation that prohibits this approach. Hiring through contract agreement is perfectly acceptable. Just because something has never been done, does not mean that it cannot be done, nor should not be done. A city with a Median income of under $30,000 a year cannot afford to be paying out 6 figure salaries, it has to stop.