When public infrastructure and public services are privatized, there’s a significant erosion in the quality of workers’ jobs.
Wages: Those in higher-paid and executive positions may get an increase in compensation, but most workers – if they still have a job – are forced to take a wage cut, especially those in lower-paid occupations. We’ve seen this many times when public services are contracted out or privatized in other ways. Statistics show that pay scales in the public sector are much more equitable than the private sector. There’s a smaller pay gap for women, Indigenous and racialized workers in the public sector, and pay is generally better for lower-paid positions, but lower for higher-paid professional and managerial occupations.
Benefits: Close to 90 per cent of public sector workers have some form of pension plan at work, with a majority in secure, defined benefit plans, while less than 25 per cent of workers employed in the private sector have a workplace pension plan. Other non-wage benefits are generally better in the public sector, particularly for middle and lower-paid occupations.
Job security: Public sector workers have better job security, including being more likely to have permanent and full-time job status, and longer tenure in their jobs. They are also less likely to be laid off or fired, and far more likely to be protected by a union and collective agreement, with 76 per cent of public sector employees protected by a union compared to just 16 per cent of private sector employees.