Do you smell bacon?

On the same day provincial government disclosed it failed to review 713 child deaths, New Democrat and Liberal MLAs united to vote for an increase to MLA salaries and caucus and constituency office funding. The total cost: $3.79 million - around $200,000 less than the pricetag for running the independent children's commission (axed by the Campbell administration in 2002). The pay raise will see base MLA salaries increase $11,180 or 15 percent to $86,580, effective April 1. That increase will maintain their status as the country's third highest paid provincial legislators. But the real winners are those who get special allowances, such as cabinet members and caucus officers. Because those bonuses are going up, sometimes as much as 166 percent.

That means Premier Gordon Campbell will be making $146,320 - an increase of 22 percent. Cabinet ministers and Opposition leader Carole James will see their cheques get a 15 percent boost to $131,329. But the biggest increases went to New Democrat and Liberal caucus chairs Jenny Kwan and Gordon Hogg, New Democrat and Liberal Whips Randy Hawes and Katrine Conroy, New Democrat Deputy Whip John Horgan and New Democrat House Leader Mike Farnworth. They'll all be getting raises of around 31 percent.

MLAs will also receive a pension plan - which had previously been eliminated in 1996. Members will contribute nine percent of their salary to the plan, that would provide a maximum of 65 percent of salary. Previously, MLAs were handed $6,786 to go toward a registered retirement savings plan. The following is a complete copy of how much everyone who isn't a backbencher is getting paid, as compiled and calculated by your humble organ.

***

Premier (Liberal Gordon Campbell)

New annual special allowance $59,740 (up $14,740 or 32.76 percent from $45,000)
New total annual compensation $146,320 (up $25,920 or 21.53 percent from $120,400)

Member of executive council with portfolio (Liberal George Abbott, Pat Bell, Shirley Bond, Ida Chong, Tom Christensen, Murray Coell, Rich Coleman, Mike de Jong, Kevin Falcon, Stan Hagen, Colin Hansen, Olga Ilich, John Les, Richard Neufeld, Wally Oppal, Barry Penner, Claude Richmond, Carole Taylor, Rick Thorpe)

New annual special allowance $44,749 (up $5,749 or 14.74 percent from $39,000)
New total annual compensation $131,329 (up $16,929 or 14.80 percent from $114,400)

Member of executive council without portfolio (Liberal Bill Bennett, John van Dongen, Linda Reid)

New annual special allowance $43,740 (up $9,740 or 38.96 percent from $25,000)
New total annual compensation $121,320 (up 20,920 or 20.84 percent from $100,400)

Parliamentary secretary (Liberal David Hayer, Richard Lee, Val Roddick)

New annual special allowance $9,000 (up $3,000 or 50.00 percent from $6,000)
New total annual compensation $95,580 (up $14,180 or 17.42 percent from $81,400)

Speaker (Liberal Bill Barisoff)

New annual special allowance $43,740 (up $9,740 or 38.96 percent from $25,000)
New total annual compensation $121,320 (up 20,920 or 20.84 percent from $100,400)

Deputy Speaker (Liberal Sindi Hawkins)

New annual special allowance $23,948 (up $4,448 or 22.81 percent from $11,0528)
New total annual compensation $110,528 (up $15,628 or 16.47 percent from $15,628)

Assistant Deputy Speaker (New Democrat Sue Hammel)

New annual special allowance $23,948 (up $4,448 or 22.81 percent from $11,0528)
New total annual compensation $110,528 (up $15,628 or 16.47 percent from $15,628)

Committee of the whole deputy chair (Liberal Harry Bloy)

New annual special allowance $12,000 (up $3,000 or 33.33 percent from $9,000)
New total annual compensation $98,580 (up $14,180 or 16.80 percent from $84,400)

Leader of the Official Opposition (New Democrat Carole James)

New annual special allowance $44,749 (up $5,749 or 14.74 percent from $39,000)
New total annual compensation $131,329 (up $16,929 or 14.80 percent from $114,400)

Government caucus committee chair (Liberal Kevin Kruger, Katherine Whittred)

New annual special allowance $9,000 (up $3,000 or 50.00 percent from $6,000)
New total annual compensation $95,580 (up $14,180 or 17.42 percent from $81,400)

Government Whip (Liberal Randy Hawes)

New annual special allowance $23,948 (up $14,948 or 166.09 percent from $9,000)
New total annual compensation $110,528 (up $26,128 or 30.96 percent from $84,400)

Government Deputy Whip (Liberal Dennis Mackay)

New annual special allowance $12,000 (up $6,000 or 100.00 percent from $6,000)
New total annual compensation $98,580 (up $17,180 or 21.11 percent from $81,400)

Opposition House Leader (New Democrat Mike Farnworth)

New annual special allowance $23,948 (up $14,948 or 166.09 percent from $9,000)
New total annual compensation $110,528 (up $26,128 or 30.96 percent from $84,400)

Official Opposition Whip (New Democrat Katrine Conroy)

New annual special allowance $23,948 (up $14,948 or 166.09 percent from $9,000)
New total annual compensation $110,528 (up $26,128 or 30.96 percent from $84,400)

Official Opposition Deputy Whip (New Democrat John Horgan)

New annual special allowance $12,000 (up $12,000 from 0)
New total annual compensation $98,580 (up $23,180 or 30.74 percent from $75,400)

Government caucus chair (Liberal Gordon Hogg)

New annual special allowance $23,948 (up $14,948 or 166.09 percent from $9,000)
New total annual compensation $110,528 (up $26,128 or 30.96 percent from $84,400)

Official Opposition caucus chair (New Democrat Jenny Kwan)

New annual special allowance $23,948 (up $14,948 or 166.09 percent from $9,000)
New total annual compensation $110,528 (up $26,128 or 30.96 percent from $84,400)

Deputy House Leader (Liberal Barry Penner New Democrat not assigned)

New annual special allowance $9,000 (up $9,000 from 0)
New total annual compensation $95,580 (up $20,180 or 26.76 percent from $75,400)

(Minister Penner will not receive this bonus as he is an executive council member)

Select standing, select or special committee chair (New Democrat Rob Fleming Liberal Al Horning, Blair Lekstrom, John Rustad)

New annual special allowance $9,000 (up $3,000 or 50.00 percent from $6,000)
New total annual compensation $95,580 (up $14,180 or 17.42 percent from $81,400)

Select standing, select or special committee deputy chair (Liberal John Yap New Democrat David Cubberley, Maurine Karagianis, Leonard Krog)

New annual special allowance $6,000 (up $3,000 or 100.00 percent from $3,000)
New total annual compensation $92,580 (up $14,180 or 18.09 percent from $78,400)

26 Comments


failed to reivew *713*... that's shocking.

These raises seem only fair now that the disabled community is living so high on the hog on that added $70.00.

Gosh and we thought the two political parties were getting along a bit better as the opposition chewed up a few cabinet ministers. NO wonder they were getting along a bit better, as all the time another bunch were in the back room dealing themselves a raise. Interestingly the same 15 percent was earlier arranged for municipla candidates who actually win.
The premier was sitting there like a Cheshire cat knowing full well the opposition would fallover themselves picking up the extra money

Looking through the list of perks I see one person who's raise alone, beats the pensions I paid into over 35 years of federal service, and she gets a warm place to sit and a gown and starched coller as a deputy something or other.

Too bad such amounts of money could not be arranged for those folks waiting for medical tests, eye checks or numerous other things our beloved government took away.

Jenny Simms said this evening on the CBC" It appears that 15 percent will be the base line for other negotiations. Dream on Jenny they blew it on themselves then closed down till next week and got the hell out of the house. Nobody else seems to be in a position of deciding on their own pay raise then collectively getting a bill throught the house quicker than a long coffee break. The rest of the population waits for years to get their wages raised, and seldom at 15 percent a pop. We were or are all in the wrong job, but then again most of us couldn't stand the sleeze.

The money gained by shutting down the Childrens' Commissioner was almost the same they got back in new wages. so all those kids are a bit of a problem but heck nothing beats a pay raise. But next week they will be tough again and maybe learn what else was screwed up by the government.

SLEEZE

Goddamn. I can't even stand giving $500 a month to people who don't work, let alone this!

The next thing they'll be asking for is a bus pass.

What the hell is wrong with Mike Farnworth? What a slap in the face to working people who took zero increases and wage cuts over the last 5 years, I thought the NDP represented people like us. They are no better than god damn Liberals.

I am so happy that the liberal gov't thinks fit to give raises all round...to themselves and their kind. Such a noble sacrifice on the backs of women, the poor, the disadvantaged, people with disabilities, HEU, teachers. It is only right that 0% increase does not apply to those who are a little bit more equal than the rest of us. And it only took one afternoon to have three readings of Bill 17! Why waste time having debate or public awareness? I know, I know; some will say that they need to keep salaries and benefits up or the M.L.A.s will move to other, better paid provinces or Ottawa. True - we wouldn't want to lose the likes of Gordon Campbell to Ontario or, gasp, Ottawa.

Keep up the good work, Gordo!


What a #@&*ing joke!!!!!
Campbell takes a 22% wage increase for himself and 15% for the rest of the pigs on both sides of the house/trough while holding the rest of the public sector to zero, zero, and zero, or some other pittance that doesn't even keep up with inflation.

The arrogance of these swine sickens me.

What a hypocritical sow the leader of the opposition is proving to be! I challenge Ms. James to donate her windfall to charity.

Its a disgrace and the NDP should refuse it but they were elected to sit near the trough.

I am running for civic office and noticed that the councillor pay bylaw calls for a cost of living increase annually. I think this is the way to go - no independent reviews, no self pay increases just a cola clause.

Actually Jack, thats how they will be doing it under today's legislation. $86,580 isn't a number plucked out of thin air -its 60% of the base pay for an MP. MLA salaries are now forever indexed to MP base pay. When MPs get an increase, BC MLAs will too. They'll never have to have the embarassment of voting themselves an increase.. and they can always say "But we only earn 60% of what an MP does!"

Its actually pretty smart over the long run.

All you whiny folks listen up.

First, MLAs put in a ton of time and effort for their constituents, if they are doing their jobs. If they aren't they get fired.

Most MLAs I know (and I know a lot on both sides of the House) earn the salaries. This is not an easy job, nor easy life, and we should recognize that and compensate accordingly.

There may just be a reason that we are having difficulty attracting exceptional talent into the Legislature--we don't pay them what they are worth.

Many people in the private sector in mid-level positions earn more than the Premier, Opposition Leader and Members of Cabinet.

I dunno. George Abbott runs a ministry worth $10 Billion and is responsible for ensuring that when I get sick I get the treatment I need.

Sounds to me like I want someone in charge who knows what they are doing, and yes, I am prepared to pay for it.

To please.

So George Abbott ensures you get treated when sick. Ask your friend George why folks are waiting for hip, knee surguries and other serious conditions, (or why the public is now shelling out money for those diagnostic units the government doesn't fund.)Peope now wait for a number of years as operating rooms remain closed. Or why so many citizens can't even get a doctor as he postures and thinks he looks smart in the house but doesn't get the services people are paying for through their new increased medical plans, actually get done in a timly fashion. If you have the exrta bucks the private set up that MLA Penner used is available for a number of thousand dollars a pop, nad even there the province pays the doctor bill. Hey maybe thats why the need the money, it's to pay for their privatized medical system.

Please, no matter how you justify it (and it may be justified) the optics on this are horrible. The raise was given the same day as this mess in Childrens and Families came to light, at the tail end of a bitter teachers dispute, and at a time when the current government has been pleading for moderation in other public sector union negotiation. Oh and then there is the stealthy manner in which it was done.

If our MLA's are worth what they say they are then why can't they make their case to the public before they reward themselves? Is it because this government is afraid the public will expect of them what they have asked of us over the last 5 years?

I'm with all the other public sector employees
0-0-0-0-0-15%off. Are not these people the ultimate public sector employees. Whoever said the NDP needs to give a substantial portion of this windfall to the approcriate charities is right. I am really angry at this slap in the face to the rest ofus!!!!!

I'm with all the other public sector employees
0-0-0-0-0-15%off. Are not these people the ultimate public sector employees. Whoever said the NDP needs to give a substantial portion of this windfall to the approcriate charities is right. I am really angry at this slap in the face to the rest ofus!!!!!

Three weeks ago, 40000 teachers walked off their jobs, lost wages and pensionable time, were fined for "illegal" activity to stand up for the children of this province.

Thursday, November 17 - the politicians of this province, elected by the public into their jobs, raised their hands for increased wages and pensionable earnings. What an outrage.

Where did this money come from? Well, that should be fairly obvious - take a look at the cuts the BC Liberals made. Who was hurt? The marginalized, the working poor, the people who don't run corporations or contribute to political campaigns.

As disgusted as I am with the Liberals, I have to say that I am even more so with the NDP. They lost credibility with me with the complicity yesterday.

We are the so-called employers of the government. Yet, we don't have a say in how much they make, the work they do, or the raises they vote for themselves.

This government has already broken international rulings (by declaring education an essential service; the only place in the developed world that has that ruling). It has proven over and over again that it is not interested in governing all its peoples; only those who can provide corporate donations and interesting soundbites.

I believe that the role of a government is to govern all its citizens and to model the direction and moral standards to move us forward.

The teachers taught us that they were willing to take a stand for the future of our children.
What lesson did we learn from the government's actions yesterday?

I think no one can argue that MLA's don't deserve a wage increase.

The issue here is that everyone deserves a raise in BC, and most aren't getting a significant one, and so why should the MLA's be the only ones?

The other issue is how it came about, and as noted in Sean's column, Farnworth et al are already implying they have no intention of sharing the wealth by supporting their own Constituent Assistants or respective caucus staff with this deal.

Also, The libs are likely not going to let other sectors get 15%.

c'mon, anyone who knows anything about this job will realize that even with the raise, these guys are underpaid.

I have no problem with 15% for the teachers, as long as I can have the oportunity to fire them every five years if I dont like their results....

I have voted for the NDP for the past 20 years and I am completely discussed with Carol James and the NDP party for making a deal with Campbell.

I have no problem with 15% for the teachers, as long as I can have the oportunity to fire them every five years if I dont like their results....

Posted by Brian at November 18, 2005 12:06 PM

Can we agree that this same standard should be applied to you?

I too am disgusted by these actions. After crying poverty for the last 5 years and cutting back as this government has, I don't know how they can even sleep at night. I have a relative who is in the healthcare system at the moment and it absolutely appalling what is going on. They have moved my relative from one facility to another and back again and no one in the family is contacted about this. One hospital ward didn't even know where she was. She was lost for a while, and then low and behold someone says oh she was moved back to the other hospital. This is in the interior and the hospitals are not in the same town. Every time this happens of course, another ambulance bill also arrives. Then the next I get a call on, is that a relative at the home is asked to bring in medications from home. Was also asked to come and look after the relative as there was a problem. Something wrong with this picture I'd say? And our wonderful politicians decide it's time for a wage hike! Put the money back into the healthcare services, open up the facilities you've closed down, open up beds, and hire enough people to care for our sick and elderly. Absolutely shameful, by all those who sit as our Government on both sides!

Carol James has just ensured that the Liberals will be re-elected. I for one, am so disgusted I'm not even going to bother voting anymore. When I think about how badly my family has been hurt in the last few years by these disgusting pig's actions and then to find out the bunch I voted for are more of the same. Give me a break. How sad this province has become.

Please don't go on about how hard MLA's work. They met for eight days in September, thirteen days in October, they'll be meeting for eleven days in November, and they won't even be there in December! Most days the house sits for 8 hours. Occasionally they put in some overtime, for which they are well compensated.

They all have staff to answer their phone calls and emails in their own ridings.

I know a lot of folk that work harder than that.
Where is the 15% for the rest of us?

The teachers, the desperate kids who died "in care", the Hospital Employees, did any of them get the improved conditions they deserved? No.

Do we want to have a government which works not in the time-tested Parliamentary tradition but in a new Bush-style bunker mentality ("them-against-us") secret collusion with the Opposition, in which the citizens are the last to know when an unpopular law has been enacted ... and that's all wrong. It fails the test of due process. It's shredding the social fabric. It poisons the air.

The only reason British Columbia's M.L.A.s absolutely do not deserve this pay raise is (a) all of the above, and (b) because they are the ones who refused such a benefit to their fellow citizens of B.C. And, ha ha, they rammed through Bill 12 to achieve that, too, remember?

It's called "Conflict of Interest." We have every damn right to be furiously angry.

I am completely disgusted that the our provinical government would even think of something so insane as pay increases.

I am health care worker that lost 15% I have two special needs who do not get what they are entitled to because the government says we can't afford it. My son sits on a very long waiting list for Children's Hospital.

Statistically, BC is the worst province in Canada for taking care of its Children and Seniors. An issue no government wants known or improved.

This disgusting raise they feel they needed is just one more way to line their pockets. I agree with many others lets ask the voters and taxpayers how much they should have gotten. Governments don't do that...BECAUSE THEY KNOW the public would have said NO WAY!

In Gordon Campbells statement he said he felt the raise and pensions were "deemed to be fair, reasonable and sensible." Please, nothing could be further from the truth...Nothing the government does is anything but self serving.

I am so very angry at this decision and it is time for a change. The change is ACCOUNTABLITY at all levels of government to the people.

The thing that really boggles my mind is now that they are elected...They have all forgotten they are elected to serve the people not their own political agendas.

If they believe they are doing their job and well why not put to the people for a vote. Again because they know they are serving their own agendas.. That has nothing to do with the people who voted for them.

Nothing about the pay raises can be understood.
It is self serving and the people of British Columbia should speak long and loud.

The way I see it, that kind of thing is not unexpected of the liberals and their "base" wouldn't be too shocked or upset, or hold a grudge on anyone who wants to grab more money because that's what life is all about to them. But for the NDP to sell out so quickly and so thoroughly for a few pieces of silver is a total betrayal.

Make sure that you write and tell them how disgusted you are. Don't let up on them. I've already heard back from my MLA who admits that they made a huge error in judgement. Now it remains to be seen what they will do to redeem themselves.

I am just sickened by the whole lot of the greedy pigs. This is a wonderful Christmas gift for the Greens.

Index? Where do these increase rates come from?
MLA salaries increase $11,180 or 15 percent. Bonuses are going up, sometimes as much as 166 percent. Premier Gordon Campbell's increase: 22 percent. Caucus Chairs and whips. They'll all be getting raises of around 31 percent.

In 2003 during negotations on a contract the Federal MPs gave themselves a
29% increase. And offered the public servant employees 2.5%
308 MPs 29% increase would cost the taxpayers roughly 9 million
90000 Public Service Employees 2.5% increase costed tax payers 90 million.
Sure the raise for the employees would cost 10 times as much, but there is 292
times more employees than MPs. Employees would receive an increase of about
$1,000 per annum as opposed to the MPs $30,000 increase.

I am not a public service employee. I am a public service employer.

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