One of the most personal details about an individual is how much money they make. Unless you’re a blabber-mouth, chances are people keep their salaries very private. If you’re a highly-paid public sector employee in British Columbia though, no amount of tight-lipped silence will keep your salary secret. The Vancouver Sun, the Vancouver’s largest newspaper, has compiled a database of nearly all public sector employees who make more than $75,000.

The database lists employee names, titles,  change in salary from last year, and expenses (if applicable). It’s a goldmine of info about anyone who works for a public office. The database includes sectors like provincial government, local government, Crown corporations, school districts, and post-secondary institutions. I used the database to look up the salaries for nearly every single one of the professors who I knew while I was in grad school at UBC. I even looked up a few of my undergrad profs. Were there any surprises? Not really, each of them, without exception were making six figures. The only question was how much more beyond that magic mark were they making.

Next I looked up the highest paid people in my local municipal government. There were a lot of “managers” in that list. I wonder how many of those people are unionized and how much work they really do in a typical day.

Then I tried looking up people I knew who I thought might be public sector employees. Some people were federal government employees so that didn’t work. I managed to find one dude who I went to school with. It turns out he makes a really good salary, very close to six figures. I won’t disclose his identity but I’m sure going to try to get him to buy me dinner the next time we meet up.

4 thoughts on “HOW MUCH DO THEY MAKE?”

  1. yup, been aware of that database for a while now. It’s the government’s way of staying transparent to the public. Everyone knows what everyone else makes.

    I actually never really understood the whole tight-lipped thing about salary, especially among really close, trustworthy friends or coworkers. I mean, does office politics really affect people that much, that if I disclose how much I make, that it will make a difference in how you treat me? And if it does, that mentality is wrong, and only hurts humanity. Especially when it’s a piddly 2% difference, or the position in question is an entirely different level anyway.
    “Oh, blah blah producer makes a six-figure income, while I’m just a lowly junior making 35k. I hate my producer.” I mean, seriously?

  2. WOW!!!! I have just learned that it really pays to work your way up the ladder from postdoc to lab head at UBC. The difference between postdoc and lab head isn’t nearly so great in Australia.

  3. Thanks for posting this link. I now realize I am getting screwed over by the City of Airdrie. Those bastards know it too. Just a few more months before we sign our first IAFF backed contract, and the city will finally be giving us a more equal salary. The retro pay will probably raise the ire of city council. Too bad, so sad.

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