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,
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).