In slow economic times, it's not out of line to drive down the salaries of public-sector executives.
What is it with those public-sector executives' salaries?
Earlier this month, TransLink revealed that its CEO, Ian Jarvis, collected $394,730 last year.
Vancouver city manager Penny Ballem was up to $366,009 in the city's last statement of financial information.
Former Provincial Health Services Authority CEO Lynda Cranston was in the same range when she quit her job this year.
That was after awarding $651,000 in unauthorized salary hikes to 118 staff.
Meanwhile, the highest paid police officer in the province, Vancouver's chief Jim Chu, also makes well over $300,000.
UBC's president, Stephen Toope, topped $531,000.
And this week, B.C. Ferries chairman Donald Hayes defended CEO Mike Corrigan's annual compensation, which was listed at $503,930 in a document filed this month on sedar.com.
His actual salary for 2013 is $364,000, which was supplemented by $64,421 under the annual incentive plans, and $75,509 in the value of his pension.
The previous year, the CEO's pay pack added up to $915,615, including $358,638 under the long-term incentive plans.
According to B.C. Ferries statement of executive compensation, executive vice president and chief financial officer Robert Clarke collected $492,207 in the last fiscal year, which ended on March 31.
The executive vice president of human resources and corporate development, Glen Schwartz, scooped up $491,643, according to the sedar.com document.
Clarke's bonus was $133,711; Schwartz's bonus was $127,008.
This is for a money-losing monopoly that has seen reductions in traffic and consistently higher fares.
I don't blame the public-sector executives who take the money.
The real culprits are the boards and politicians who grant these salaries for what are supposed to be "public-service" jobs.
Contrast this with the Vancouver park board, whose members are only paid $8,000 per year to oversee a $100-million budget. The chair gets $10k. Whoop-tee-doo!
Or Vancouver city councillors, who receive $65,860 per year to oversee a $1.1-billion budget.
Something is seriously out of whack.
We're in a slow-to-no-growth economy, and that's not likely to change for many years to come.
It's a buyer's market when it comes to hiring talent.
Someone somewhere should introduce a motion or a private member's bill to cut the salaries of those making the highest sums after their contracts expire—and in the case of the City of Vancouver, ensure that some of the savings go to the commissioners who are overseeing Vancouver's parks.
There are undoubtedly many executives who would be willing to do these types of jobs for a maximum of $250,000.
To quote beleaguered Toronto mayor Rob Ford, it's time to stop the gravy train.