The role of public service is very important in contemporary society. A large number of people in Canada are employed in the civil service sector. At the same time, many perform functions, which, to a significant extent, define the stability within the Canadian society and maintain the normal life of Canadians. It should be said that the work of policemen, firemen and public transit workers is particularly important because the effectiveness of their work defines the life of the entire society. Obviously, the role of policemen, public transit workers and firemen has increased significantly in recent years, due to the social development and growing complexity modern society, often accompanied by increasing social tension and problems. In this case, it is very important to recruit well-qualified professionals able to perform their duties in accordance with functions of public service in Canada that means that it is necessary to create working conditions that appeal to specialists inviting them to join Canada’s public service.
Salaries are particularly significant since, as a rule, the salary level is a determinant factor that influences the choice of potential employees. In fact, the salaries of policemen, firemen and public transit workers in Canada basically meets the average in Canada or even exceeds as it allows any specialists in these professions to join Canada’s middle-class society. It is important to realize that policemen and firemen can make a considerable progress in their professional career as they climb up the career ladder; particularly since the higher positions on the police force and fire departments are paid higher salaries.
In fact, the average Salary of a Canadian fireman is $29,973 annually. However, with overtime, holiday pay and night differential the salary can exceed $35,000 and can increase up to $50,000 after five years with additional longevity pay every five years. It can also be said that the more a fireman works the more his salary is (Baker and Fortin, 112).
The same trend can be seen in regards to police officers, whose average salary can vary from $34,410 to $56,360, depending on the seniority and position of police officers. The idea of the salary increase is similar to that of firemen since the higher is the rank and the longer the service of the police officer is the higher salary he receives. Taking into consideration the overtime, holiday pay and night differential, the average salary of policemen can vary from $40,000 to $60,000 annually (Gunderson and Lanroie, 83).
It is worth mentioning the fact that policemen in Montreal can get back up from the part of civilian employees and police cadets. Civilian employees work closely with the police, while university students can assist police working as police cadets. In addition, police officers have an opportunity of career growth, climbing the hierarchy ladder from an officer, who ranked at the lowest level in Montreal police, to a director, who is ranked at the top of the police, though such ranks as sergeant or sergeant-detective; lieutenant or lieutenant-detective; commander; inspector; chief inspector; assistant director; and deputy director. Depending on the rank and experience of a policeman his salary can vary. For instance, constable, the rank a police officer gets when he is hired, receives $35,286 at hiring; $39,280 after 12 months (6th class constable); $43,941 after 24 months (5th class constable); $49,267 after 36 months (4th class constable); $55,259 after 48 months (3rd class constable); $59,919 after 60 months (2nd class constable); and $66,577 after 72 months (1st class constable) (SPVM, 2008).
As for public transit workers, their salary is comparable to those of firemen and policemen. More precisely, the average salary of public transit workers in Canada is estimated at $35,000, whereas in large metropolitan areas, such as Montreal, the salary of a public transit worker can reach $43,680 annually. If the overtime and holiday pay are taken into consideration the overall salary of public transit workers can increase up to $40,000 to $50,000 annually (Baker and Fortin, 144).
In addition, it is said that policemen, firemen and public transit workers have a longer vacation period that average Canadian workers. Workers in these professions have at least one-month vacation time, while the rank and term of their service can increase the vacation time even more and it can exceed one month per year. Simultaneously, they can get vacation payments that basically meet their regular salary level. Consequently, from the financial point of view, they can see practically no difference between their working time and vacation time. In this case, the high salary advantages of policemen, firemen and public transit workers would have attracted more people willing to work in the public sector. However, many specialists do not receive the job because they do not meet the requirements for these three professions
The physical shape and health of applicants are essential, but are not the only criteria, which influence the decision of whether or not the candidate is recruited. In fact, people working in these areas need to have a perfect health, be psychologically stable and have a high professional level in order to be able to perform tasks they face daily in their routine work.
Basically, these are three major criteria which define the recruitment process. People working in the police force, fire department and public transit service need to undergo psychological testing in order to get a job. In addition, their qualification is very important and, as a rule, when applicants want to be employed in the public transit service they need to have experience of work in the similar field, while firemen and policemen should have special education and training to be able to perform their duties properly and effectively.
On the other hand, there is another problem in the process of recruitment since it is not always possible to find specialists who are ready to work in public service. Obviously, the work of policemen, firemen and public transit workers is accompanied by numerous challenges, risks and difficulties. The level of psychological and physical exhaustion of these workers is traditionally higher compared to an average professional working in other fields (Gunderson and Lanroie, 78). For instance, firemen and policemen, as well as public transit workers, are exposed to the risk of getting serious injuries because of their professional activities, to the extent that their life may be at risk.
In regards to this, a number of controversial issues arise. More precisely, the public opinion is highly controversial in regard to public service, especially for policemen, firemen and public transit workers. People are often very critical in relation to the level of earnings and professional privileges of policemen, firemen and public transit workers. In reality, their salary and earnings are comparable to earnings of representatives of the middle class or even higher that makes people feel envy and they believe such a high level of earnings is unjust. On the other hand, the risks accompanying the public service can’t be taken lightly and people need to be motivated, including financial motivation, to go to work at police or fire service, for instance. It proves that policemen, firemen and public transit workers maintain the normal life of Canadian society and prevent it from social and economic problems.