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Firefighters making 90k, DB pension, and 4 day weekends

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  • Feb 14th, 2018 12:59 am
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Deal Fanatic
Nov 21, 2011
7985 posts
1296 upvotes
Edmonton
burnt69 wrote:
Feb 10th, 2018 8:44 pm
When did I say I'm bitter? I'm not a firefighter. I was merely pointing out that in that particular recruiting process I quoted, there are literally hundreds of applicants who qualified per their criteria, but for reasons most likely having nothing to do with their qualifications, were not selected.

~200 candidates weren't even interviewed despite passing the objective tests. Will they ever find out that perhaps the only defect in their applications was a minor error in punctuation? Or not volunteering as much as someone else? Or growing up in Kamloops instead of metro Vancouver? Just so many variables, and when you have an applicant pool that vast, meaningful feedback is most likely non-existent. Or not having a brother-in-law who is on the hiring panel? It casts that particular organization as being very unprofessional, and such compensation practice damages the reputation of the public sector in its public responsibility of stewardship of public resources.
And that relates to ignoring established compensable factors for building your compensation plan how?


You didn't explicitly say you're bitter. Your long winded rants make it obvious
Member
Apr 14, 2017
277 posts
97 upvotes
DT Calgary
Too many triggered union and/or public sector employees here. Thread needs to close.

What are you guys even debating?

It's a fact that salaries get artificially inflated by unions, public or private. So whats the deal here?
Sr. Member
Aug 10, 2010
504 posts
115 upvotes
Mars.
FreshCo wrote:
Feb 10th, 2018 9:35 pm
Too many triggered union and/or public sector employees here. Thread needs to close.

What are you guys even debating?

It's a fact that salaries get artificially inflated by unions, public or private. So whats the deal here?
They don't have much else to do. That's why :D
Deal Addict
Oct 6, 2015
1300 posts
677 upvotes
clseea wrote:
Feb 10th, 2018 9:08 pm
And that relates to ignoring established compensable factors for building your compensation plan how?
As I told you earlier, market based compensation does not require any of that. Market principles determine compensation. Firefighters, for example, are generic enough of an occupation in the public sector that you don't have extreme specialization or uniqueness that requires a deviation from market principles to determine compensation.

This may not be the case for a public servant engineer with in-depth knowledge and experience with evaluating certain aspects of aviation safety, for which you have to use such framework to determine compensation as there may not be a liquid market for such roles.
You didn't explicitly say you're bitter. Your long winded rants make it obvious
Explanations are not rants. Seriously. Trolling this evening?
Deal Addict
Aug 1, 2007
1957 posts
433 upvotes
superangrypenguin wrote:
Feb 10th, 2018 9:36 pm
They don't have much else to do. That's why :D
I didnt know public employees should be working for free on their days off.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 21, 2011
7985 posts
1296 upvotes
Edmonton
burnt69 wrote:
Feb 10th, 2018 9:37 pm
As I told you earlier, market based compensation does not require any of that. Market principles determine compensation. Firefighters, for example, are generic enough of an occupation in the public sector that you don't have extreme specialization or uniqueness that requires a deviation from market principles to determine compensation.

This may not be the case for a public servant engineer with in-depth knowledge and experience with evaluating certain aspects of aviation safety, for which you have to use such framework to determine compensation as there may not be a liquid market for such roles.



Explanations are not rants. Seriously. Trolling this evening?
You've yet to explain how it's an average job or how you're determining their compensation. All firefighters should make the same? Every level of experience? Every level of education? Every level of risk? Every work environment? You just keep spewing out "market" level as though that somehow quantifies and justifies the variables involved in a well thought out compensation plan.
Deal Addict
Oct 6, 2015
1300 posts
677 upvotes
clseea wrote:
Feb 10th, 2018 10:31 pm
You've yet to explain how it's an average job or how you're determining their compensation.
I don't know if it is an average job or not. Nobody really does as there's passionate arguments that can be made one way or another. However, the market should be able to sort that out per the principles of labour market equilibria as described in my previous posts.

Who knows, maybe lowering compensation would cause mass retirements. Maybe the compensation is at market rates. I don't know. I do know that in the case I cited, that compensation was obviously well above market given that only approximately 10% of the qualified candidates were ultimately hired.
All firefighters should make the same? Every level of experience? Every level of education? Every level of risk? Every work environment?
Maybe. I don't know enough about firefighting to know whether there is a vast difference between an experienced firefighter and a less experienced one. Some locales may impose greater duties on their firefighters, leading to less interest amongst applicants. Some applicants may even prefer to fight more difficult fires, or to help more people through other responsibilities that firefighters have. If recruiting firefighters for the roles available is particularly difficult, then salaries need to rise. If recruiting firefighters is easy, then salaries should fall.
You just keep spewing out "market" level as though that somehow quantifies and justifies the variables involved in a well thought out compensation plan.
You keep advancing the argument that some intellectuals (HR "professionals") should just be setting compensation without public transparency, and without deference to labour market for such professions.

That might be appropriate on a one-off basis, like a very obscure role in the public sector, but the skills involved with firefighting are not exactly highly unique. There are various tests to determine if a candidates are objectively qualified. And I have no problem with the concept of setting compensation slightly above the true equilibria point simply so that the public sector can exclude a limited number of subjectively unqualified individuals. But when you exclude 80%+ of the qualified applicants, that definitely means that compensation is way too high.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Nov 15, 2004
14489 posts
1663 upvotes
Toronto
clseea wrote:
Feb 10th, 2018 2:29 am
So you're basing their compensation on what established compensable factors exactly?
The factors the government uses for firefighter pay in the military (where there is no union and they go by market rates): https://www.canada.ca/en/department-nat ... ghter.html

Military:
The starting salary for a fully trained Firefighter is $49,400 per year
Compare that to a Toronto firefighter:
As of July 2017, the base salary for a first-class firefighter will be $97,910 per year — about $8,000 per year more than under the previous collective agreement.
I don't see Toronto firefighters serving on aircraft, naval vessels, or overseas in hostile territory, yet they make nearly double what our government believes a firefighter should make.
burnt69 wrote:
Feb 10th, 2018 4:19 pm
Public sector compensation in excess of market rates leaves open the possibility, if not high probability of self-dealing, nepotism, and other similar forms of misconduct which anecdotally are very common in public sector employment processes.
This is exactly what's happening. There's a reason the fire department is 97% white in a city where white people make up half the population, and why most of them don't even live anywhere near Toronto itself.
https://globalnews.ca/news/1872085/slow ... e-diverse/
Until recently, Thompson says, firefighting jobs “went to people who knew about the system, the internal mechanism, how it worked, when to apply, the dates to apply, what you needed to do in terms of preparing.”

“That came from (the fact that) someone’s grandfather was a firefighter, uncle was a firefighter, father was a firefighter, cousin was a firefighter, that sort of natural referral, so to speak. It just kind of worked that way, for the longest while.”

...

“Back in the bad old days, it was a kind of Irish Protestant bastion,” he explains. “There was a lot of nepotism – there were sons who were hired. If your father was on, you could get on, if your uncle was on, you could get on. Back in the day, Toronto was so heavily white, that ethnic makeup just became entrenched in the department.”

In the 1990s, he remembers, open racism was quite common in the Toronto fire department: “When I first started, some of the things these people would say – you just wouldn’t believe it. Just because they’d see a white face, they’d think ‘This guy’s going to be on side.’”
Last edited by Piro21 on Feb 10th, 2018 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Could HAVE, not could OF. What does 'could of' even mean?
Deal Fanatic
Nov 21, 2011
7985 posts
1296 upvotes
Edmonton
burnt69 wrote:
Feb 10th, 2018 10:42 pm
I don't know if it is an average job or not. Nobody really does as there's passionate arguments that can be made one way or another. However, the market should be able to sort that out per the principles of labour market equilibria as described in my previous posts.

Who knows, maybe lowering compensation would cause mass retirements. Maybe the compensation is at market rates. I don't know. I do know that in the case I cited, that compensation was obviously well above market given that only approximately 10% of the qualified candidates were ultimately hired.



Maybe. I don't know enough about firefighting to know whether there is a vast difference between an experienced firefighter and a less experienced one. Some locales may impose greater duties on their firefighters, leading to less interest amongst applicants. Some applicants may even prefer to fight more difficult fires, or to help more people through other responsibilities that firefighters have. If recruiting firefighters for the roles available is particularly difficult, then salaries need to rise. If recruiting firefighters is easy, then salaries should fall.



You keep advancing the argument that some intellectuals (HR "professionals") should just be setting compensation without public transparency, and without deference to labour market for such professions.

That might be appropriate on a one-off basis, like a very obscure role in the public sector, but the skills involved with firefighting are not exactly highly unique. There are various tests to determine if a candidates are objectively qualified. And I have no problem with the concept of setting compensation slightly above the true equilibria point simply so that the public sector can exclude a limited number of subjectively unqualified individuals. But when you exclude 80%+ of the qualified applicants, that definitely means that compensation is way too high.
Seems like a pretty empty argument
Deal Addict
Oct 6, 2015
1300 posts
677 upvotes
clseea wrote:
Feb 10th, 2018 11:04 pm
Seems like a pretty empty argument
Whatever you say, lol.

@Piro21 , shocking, but its no surprise that labour market liquidity is a major problem when organizations conduct themselves like this. There are some profound implications for the Canadian economy and Canadian society when people cannot move freely and reasonably between jobs, or obtain jobs based on merit.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 21, 2011
7985 posts
1296 upvotes
Edmonton
burnt69 wrote:
Feb 10th, 2018 11:11 pm
Whatever you say, lol.

@Piro21 , shocking, but its no surprise that labour market liquidity is a major problem when organizations conduct themselves like this. There are some profound implications for the Canadian economy and Canadian society when people cannot move freely and reasonably between jobs, or obtain jobs based on merit.
"I don't know"
"Who knows"
"I don't know enough about firefighting"

I'm super convinced
Deal Addict
Oct 6, 2015
1300 posts
677 upvotes
clseea wrote:
Feb 10th, 2018 11:15 pm
"I don't know"
"Who knows"
"I don't know enough about firefighting"

I'm super convinced
Are you asking me to be dishonest about my knowledge of the specific job? It doesn't take any knowledge of a specific job to realize that if nearly 20X as many people want to perform it, as than actually hired, that the compensation for the job is probably set way too high. I only need to know basic economics to come to that conclusion, not the detailed minutae of the job of being a firefighter.

@Piro21 did an excellent job at laying out how staffing practices with respect to Toronto firefighters have been completely abusive towards non-White applicants and even qualified applicants with no prior 'connections' to previously employed firefighters. Such mismanagement may further expose such employers to legal claims.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 21, 2011
7985 posts
1296 upvotes
Edmonton
burnt69 wrote:
Feb 10th, 2018 11:18 pm
Are you asking me to be dishonest about my knowledge of the specific job? It doesn't take any knowledge of a specific job to realize that if nearly 20X as many people want to perform it, as than actually hired, that the compensation for the job is probably set way too high. I only need to know basic economics to come to that conclusion, not the detailed minutae of the job of being a firefighter.

@Piro21 did an excellent job at laying out how staffing practices with respect to Toronto firefighters have been completely abusive towards non-White applicants and even qualified applicants with no prior 'connections' to previously employed firefighters. Such mismanagement may further expose such employers to legal claims.
Or they like the status symbol of being a firefighter
Or they want to help the public
Or they want to be seen as a hero
Or they come from a long line of firefighters
Or being a firefighter seems cool to them
Or any other reason

But no no, naturally it's because the compensation is where it is. I get it, you're not a "lucky one".
Newbie
User avatar
Dec 26, 2015
69 posts
32 upvotes
nowhere
As a brown guy I was thinking about applying last time my city did a firefighting recruitment... apparently they have liberal hippy minority quotas so i though maybe I had a chance... but then I realized I also have a paralyzing fear of heights... so I smoked another joint.
Deal Addict
Oct 6, 2015
1300 posts
677 upvotes
clseea wrote:
Feb 10th, 2018 11:29 pm
Or they like the status symbol of being a firefighter
Or they want to help the public
Or they want to be seen as a hero
Or they come from a long line of firefighters
Or being a firefighter seems cool to them
Or any other reason

But no no, naturally it's because the compensation is where it is. I get it, you're not a "lucky one".
Those are all arguments for lower compensation as there is an element of satiating altruism that may compensate for lower cash compensation.

But we should let market principles determine the price of firefighters and all public servants for that matter.
As a brown guy I was thinking about applying last time my city did a firefighting recruitment... apparently they have liberal hippy minority quotas so i though maybe I had a chance... but then I realized I also have a paralyzing fear of heights... so I smoked another joint.
Yeah I don't think that many people actually want to do a job that they're unqualified for. But when people are qualified, it is tragic to exclude them, and overpay for those who are included.

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