Both provincial Liberal and New Democrat MLAs will benefit from yesterday's raise. But it's the New Democrats who will likely suffer the most in the short-term. Their caucus includes more members of the so-called "31 percent (pay increase) club" than the Liberals. The New Democrat's support base includes public sector unionists who have had to make due with years of pay freezes and cuts. So they're not going to be too happy with MLAs scratching their own backs - as is evidenced by labour quotes in the morning papers. And the party membership generally believes their MLAs should be sticking up for the working man, rather than working to become "the man." But, perhaps more importantly, those unionists and party members will be able to vent their spleens about the issue in front of many, many television cameras and microphones during next weekend's New Democrat convention and the British Columbia Federation of Labour's subsequent annual general meeting.
November 18, 2005