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Anyone work for City of Toronto can share some experience?

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  • Aug 29th, 2019 4:38 pm
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Dec 11, 2003
8227 posts
585 upvotes

Anyone work for City of Toronto can share some experience?

I applied and finally got an offer for a permanent position recently. The salary started at around 20% lower than my current job, gradually move to 10% lower. My current job is well paid, but with little opportunity for improvement. Main attraction of the job is the pension, plus opportunity to move into different positions to acquire new skill/experience since City is a large organization with lots of job opening (I think).

I ran the number before and I could take the 20% hit in salary. However recently I have some financial change which adds few hundred of expense per month. I am already quite frugal (never buy coffee, and at most one outside lunch per week) so I don't have much room to improve my finance situation. The commute is also longer so I either pay $15 per 407 trip ($300 extra expense biweekly thanks Mike Harris), or drive local (1 additional hour lost every day), or take transit ($140 biweekly, longer commute but at least I can nap or relax on the bus which isn't bad).

Due to the financial issue I am still hesitating. The initial phase will be brutal but I think it is manageable when I move to a higher salary grade. So I want to ask a few things:

1. How long does it take to move to a higher salary band? I think it has 4 bands so do you advance one band per year?

2. Is there good training or education program?

3. How easy is it to move internally to a new position?

4. I supposed this varies by program and division, but what is the culture like?

5. How's work life balance?

6. I read the sick day policy and I am baffled by it. It simply encourage people to get sick more than 1 day. Do people hate it?

7. If I turn down the offer, would it negatively affect my future application?

Thanks
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4 replies
Deal Fanatic
Dec 20, 2018
5352 posts
4428 upvotes
elty wrote: I applied and finally got an offer for a permanent position recently. The salary started at around 20% lower than my current job, gradually move to 10% lower. My current job is well paid, but with little opportunity for improvement. Main attraction of the job is the pension, plus opportunity to move into different positions to acquire new skill/experience since City is a large organization with lots of job opening (I think).

I ran the number before and I could take the 20% hit in salary. However recently I have some financial change which adds few hundred of expense per month. I am already quite frugal (never buy coffee, and at most one outside lunch per week) so I don't have much room to improve my finance situation. The commute is also longer so I either pay $15 per 407 trip ($300 extra expense biweekly thanks Mike Harris), or drive local (1 additional hour lost every day), or take transit ($140 biweekly, longer commute but at least I can nap or relax on the bus which isn't bad).

Due to the financial issue I am still hesitating. The initial phase will be brutal but I think it is manageable when I move to a higher salary grade. So I want to ask a few things:

1. How long does it take to move to a higher salary band? I think it has 4 bands so do you advance one band per year?

2. Is there good training or education program?

3. How easy is it to move internally to a new position?

4. I supposed this varies by program and division, but what is the culture like?

5. How's work life balance?

6. I read the sick day policy and I am baffled by it. It simply encourage people to get sick more than 1 day. Do people hate it?

7. If I turn down the offer, would it negatively affect my future application?

Thanks
Can you negotiate to start at middle of the payband ? Is the job unionized?

I wouldn't take that big a decrease in pay and longer commute for a govt job with limited pay increases. You'll have higher deductions due to the pension and other beenfitd as well ehi h will further erode take home pay
Deal Addict
Mar 22, 2010
3035 posts
904 upvotes
Need more details but I will jump in. I am in City and that's about much I can disclose. (Note to above poster, negotiating salary if you are coming from external is like finding Unicorn. You can try but just expect push-back. It's the norm) Also, my field could be different from yours so below answers are solely dependent on my stream.

1. How long does it take to move to a higher salary band? I think it has 4 bands so do you advance one band per year? 4 steps in one wage group (so yes, it takes 4 years to get from bottom to top and you get stuck at max level if you don't advance. You will get inflation adjusted increase though even if you are at the top, which is about 2.5% a year) Personally I took about 15% cut in my salary moving from private sector. Took me about 3 years to get back to the level I used be at and took me 5 years to surpass it. My co workers told me that's about average.

2. Is there good training or education program? I wouldn't say so

3. How easy is it to move internally to a new position? I wouldn't say it's easy. Even internally there are just too much competition at higher wage levels. Of course, knowing so and so definitely help but folks coming from external talent pool would not have that kind of network.

4. I supposed this varies by program and division, but what is the culture like? Cultures differ department to department but very bureaucratic. City has been changing a lot and bench marking private corporations in terms of corporate culture but some places are still stuck in 90's government mentality

5. How's work life balance? it's pretty good.

6. I read the sick day policy and I am baffled by it. It simply encourage people to get sick more than 1 day. Do people hate it? Depends. Sometimes you really need it but obviously if you abuse it, your co-workers will have to pick up on your slack and eventually you will get frowned upon. I haven't come across people who really abuse the policy.

7. If I turn down the offer, would it negatively affect my future application? Absolutely not.
Jr. Member
Jul 12, 2015
125 posts
16 upvotes
TO
You might want to calculate your inflation adjustments on your pay again, it is most definitely not 2.5% a year. Although non-union might be different...
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User avatar
Mar 7, 2007
4580 posts
2105 upvotes
rapashoo wrote: Need more details but I will jump in. I am in City and that's about much I can disclose. (Note to above poster, negotiating salary if you are coming from external is like finding Unicorn. You can try but just expect push-back. It's the norm) Also, my field could be different from yours so below answers are solely dependent on my stream.

1. How long does it take to move to a higher salary band? I think it has 4 bands so do you advance one band per year? 4 steps in one wage group (so yes, it takes 4 years to get from bottom to top and you get stuck at max level if you don't advance. You will get inflation adjusted increase though even if you are at the top, which is about 2.5% a year) Personally I took about 15% cut in my salary moving from private sector. Took me about 3 years to get back to the level I used be at and took me 5 years to surpass it. My co workers told me that's about average.

2. Is there good training or education program? I wouldn't say so

3. How easy is it to move internally to a new position? I wouldn't say it's easy. Even internally there are just too much competition at higher wage levels. Of course, knowing so and so definitely help but folks coming from external talent pool would not have that kind of network.

4. I supposed this varies by program and division, but what is the culture like? Cultures differ department to department but very bureaucratic. City has been changing a lot and bench marking private corporations in terms of corporate culture but some places are still stuck in 90's government mentality

5. How's work life balance? it's pretty good.

6. I read the sick day policy and I am baffled by it. It simply encourage people to get sick more than 1 day. Do people hate it? Depends. Sometimes you really need it but obviously if you abuse it, your co-workers will have to pick up on your slack and eventually you will get frowned upon. I haven't come across people who really abuse the policy.

7. If I turn down the offer, would it negatively affect my future application? Absolutely not.
My close friend works at the City. He has been at the same level for 4 years (same title, same job), so what you posted sounds right to me.

He used to post here, I will ask him to take a look at this thread.

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