The basics of compensation

Did you know taxpayers are going to give Gordon Campbell a salary boost this year? If not, don't worry - because even the premier himself doesn't seem aware of your generosity. Commenting on his government's decision to abandon support for last month's controversial pay raise package (which would have seen the basic compensation for MLA increase by 15 percent), Premier Campbell told CKNW's Bill Good last Monday "That's past us. It's gone...basically wages have been frozen for MLAs for another bit of time." But, basically, that's not the case. In 1997, the Clark administration passed a miscellaneous statutes amendment act allowing the legislative assembly management committee to implement the recommendations of a citizens' panel on MLA compensation. Among those recommendations: that a formula should be "used in the future as the basis for (annually) adjusting the basic compensation of MLAs." The following is a copy of that formula, which was first suggested in the 1992 review of MLA remuneration by the late Chuck Connaghan.

40% of the annual percentage change, January over January, of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for British Columbia, plus

40% of the annual percentage change, January over January, in the Statistics Canada All Industry Average Weekly Earnings, plus

20% of the provincial Labour Ministry's All Sector Negotiated Wage Increase, in percentage terms, for the 12 months ended December 31,

minus

A reduction factor of .5% (e.g., if the formula result is an increase of 5%, the reduction factor would reduce it to 4.5% for purposes of adjustment in MLA Indemnity, Expense Allowance and Salary).

3 Comments

Give it up, Sean!

Most people are ok with increasing MLA salaries at a reasonable clip. When you slice away the anti-politician rants of partisans and such, most people appreciate the fact that being a politician isn't a very desirable job. Most people who get involved in politics and run for office do so for genuine reasons. They really do believe they can make a difference and "matter".
What people were upset about in the MLA pay debacle was the secretive way in which it happened. It should have been left alone - MLA's were going to get paid an increase anyway.
And the formula isn't outrageous, except perhaps to the anti-government zealots that hate all politicians.

What I find interesting though is the formula now being used is one that was enacted by none other than the NDP government.
In the pay-debacle, Carole James was wrong to sign up to the deal in the first place...but she was right to admit as a mistake and I fully accept her apology on the matter...
An apology that has NOT come from Gordon Campbell or any of his Liberals.
This refusal to be held accountable for trying to sneak a pay raise through the back door, implies that the Campbell Liberals are all in favour of closing the door of openness and integrity that they campaigned on.

Liberals. Whether in Victoria or Ottawa are arrogant, corrupt, and cannot be trusted to keep their word on anything.

It’s funny how the BCTF bitch like crazy that wages have fallen behind just two other provinces making them the third highest paid in Canada, and yet this MLA pay raise would have just brought our MLA’s up to being the third highest paid in Canada. It would seem a double standard exists.

Maybe our MLA’s should start bitching about working conditions, legislative composition and special needs groups

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