Instructions for cooking ham

Let us, for a moment, fondly recall last year's MLA pay raise fiasco, wherein members from both sides of the house joined together in the spirit of cooperation to give themselves a 15 percent salary hike. At the time of that fiasco, the Canadian Press's Terri Theodore paraphrased Premier Gordon Campbell as saying "MLAs had worked on the wage increase since last summer." And, according to recently released (and long-awaited) legislative assembly management committee minutes "pay, benefits, allowances and parliamentary and constitutency office expenses" for elected officials were among the first topics discussed by the all-party group, which met 11 times between September 19 and November 17.

The raises were approved by the committee on November 2 - although most MLAs didn't find out about them until they were just about to be introduced in the legislature, 15 days later. The minutes also show committee members (who continued talking about those increases right up until the last minute) believed it was important "that these matters be decided upon in a public forum" rather than being considered "solely by the Legislative Assembly Management Committee." But, as our astute readers may remembers, that consideration lasted less than two hours, with MLAs rushing the (ultimately doomed) pay package through the house. The following is a complete copy of some of those minutes.

***

DRAFT MINUTES

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

Monday, September 19, 2005
4:00 p.m.
Hemlock Room
Parliament Buildings
Victoria, British Columbia

Members Present: Hon. B. Barisoff, MLA, Chair; Hon. M. de Jong, MLA; Mr. Gordon Hogg, MLA; Mr. R. Hawes, MLA; Ms. J. Kwan, MLA; Mr. M. Farnworth, MLA

1. The Committee approved its agenda for today's meeting.

2. The Committee considered the salary for the Assistant Deputy Speaker.

3. Resolved, that the salary for the Assistant Deputy Speaker be equivalent to the salary paid to the Deputy Speaker.

4. The Committee requested the Speaker to arrange for the Parliamentary Dining Room to open at 8:00 a.m. every day the House sits.

5. The Committee considered its role in relation to assisting Members of the Legislative Assembly in the discharge of their duties.

6. The Committee adjourned at 4:50 p.m. until Tuesday, October 4, 2005 at 4:00 p.m. in the Hemlock Room.

Hon. Bill Barisoff, MLA
Speaker and Chair

Craig James
Clerk of Committees and
Clerk Assistant

***

DRAFT MINUTES

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

Tuesday, October 4, 2005
4:00 p.m.
Hemlock Room
Parliament Buildings
Victoria, British Columbia

Members Present: Hon. B. Barisoff, MLA, Chair; Mr. Gordon Hogg, MLA; Mr. R. Hawes, MLA; Ms. J. Kwan, MLA; Mr. M. Farnworth, MLA.

Unavoidably absent: Hon. Mike de Jong, MLA

1. The Committee approved its agenda for today's meeting.

2. The Committee continued review of services to Members including pay, benefits, allowances and parliamentary and constituency office expenses.

3. The Committee considered guidelines for the television broadcasting of House proceedings and adjourned debate on the matter.

4. The Committee adjourned at 5:10 p.m. until Tuesday, October 18, 2005 at 4:00 p.m. in the Hemlock Room.

Hon. Bill Barisoff, MLA
Speaker and Chair

Craig James
Clerk of Committees and
Clerk Assistant

***

DRAFT MINUTES

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

Tuesday, November 1, 2005
4:00 p.m.
Speaker's Office
Parliament Buildings
Victoria, British Columbia

Members Present: Hon. B. Barisoff, MLA, Chair; Mr. Gordon Hogg, MLA; Mr. R. Hawes, MLA; Ms. J. Kwan, MLA; Mr. M. Farnworth, MLA.

Unavoidably absent: Hon. Mike de Jong, MLA

1. The Committee approved its agenda for today's meeting.

2. The Committee continued its review of services to Members of the Legislative Assembly including pay, benefits, allowances and parliamentary and constituency office expenses.

3. The Committee agreed unanimously, that any recommendations it makes related to remuneration for Members of the Legislative Assembly including pay, benefits, allowances and parliamentary and constituency office expenses be considered by the House and not solely by the Legislative Assembly Management Committee. This includes Special Allowances which is the prerogative of the Legislative Assembly Management Committee under the Legislative Assembly Management Committee Act, Allowances for constituency and parliamentary offices and long term disability.

4. The Committee was advised of a structural engineering study of the Parliament Buildings and the potential for a briefing on the matter later in the month of November.

5. The Committee adjourned at 5:40 p.m. to the call of the Chair.

Hon. Bill Barisoff, MLA
Speaker and Chair

Craig James
Clerk of Committees and
Clerk Assistant

***

DRAFT MINUTES

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

Tuesday, November 2, 2005
6:00 p.m.
Speaker's Office
Parliament Buildings
Victoria, British Columbia

Members Present: Hon. B. Barisoff, MLA, Chair; Hon. M. de Jong, MLA; Mr. Gordon Hogg, MLA; Mr. R. Hawes, MLA; Ms. J. Kwan, MLA; Mr. M. Farnworth, MLA.

1. The Committee approved its agenda for today's meeting.

2. The Committee continued its review of services to Members of the Legislative Assembly including pay, benefits, allowances and parliamentary and constituency office expenses.

3. Resolved, that the salary for Members of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia be equivalent to sixty percent of the basic salary that Members of Parliament in the Canadian House of Commons received and that this adjustment take effect on April 1, 2006 (unanimous)

4. Resolved, that in addition to the salary adjustment referred to in #3 above, the following Special Allowances will apply, effective April 1, 2006:

* Premier $59,740
* Ministers with portfolio $44,740
* Ministers of State $34,740
* Ministers without portfolio $34,740
* Parliamentary Secretaries $9,000
* Speaker $44,740
* Deputy Chair, Committee of the Whole $12,000
* Deputy Speaker $23,948
* Assistant Deputy Speaker $23,948
* Leader of the Official Opposition $44,740
* Leader of recognized political party other than the government or the Official Opposition $23,948
* Government Whip $23,948
* Deputy Government Whip $12,00
* Official Opposition Whip $23,948
* Official Opposition Deputy Whip $12,000
* Official Opposition House Leader $23,948
* Caucus Chair of the Government $23,948
* Caucus Chair of the Official Opposition $23,948
* Chair of Select Standing, Select or Special Committee $9,000
* Deputy Chair of Select Standing, Select or Special Committee $6,000
* Government Caucus Committee Chair $9,000 (up to two positions)
* Official Opposition Caucus Committee Chair $9,000 (up to two positions)
* Caucus Chair of a recognized political party other than the government or the Official Opposition $9,000
* Deputy House Leader of a recognized political party $9,000
* Party Whip of a recognized political party other than the government of the Official Opposition $9,000
* Deputy Caucus Chair of a recognized political party other than the government or the Official Opposition $9,000

(unanimous)

5. Resolved, that Members of the Legislatie Assembly of British Columbia be provided with a defined pension benefit plan for which there will be mandatory participation effective January 1, 2006 and that fits within the context of British Columbia's public sector pension plans. (unanimous)

6. Resolved, that the Constituency Allowances be increased by $35,000 per year per constituency, be non-targeted and effective November 2, 2005. (unanimous)

7. Resolved, that the Caucus Allowance be adjusted by $5,000 per constituency effective November 2, 2005 (unanimous)

8. Resolved, that Members be eligible to receive severance in the amount of one month of salary for every year of parliament service to a maximum amount of eighteen months based upon the best three years' average salary the Member received for Members not immediately eligible for pension regardless of whether they seek re-election. (unanimous)

9. Resolved, that a long term disability plan be established effective November 2, 2005 and modelled upon the plan available to British Columbia public servants. (unanimous)

10. Resolved, that the changes referred to in these Minutes be presented to the Legislative Assembly for its consideration. (unanimous)

11. The Committee adjourned at 6:50 p.m. to the call of the Chair.

Hon. Bill Barisoff, MLA
Speaker and Chair

Craig James
Clerk of Committees and
Clerk Assistant

***

DRAFT MINUTES

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

Thursday, November 17, 2005
11:00 p.m.
Speaker's Office
Parliament Buildings
Victoria, British Columbia

Members Present: Hon. B. Barisoff, MLA, Chair; Hon. M. de Jong, MLA; Mr. Gordon Hogg, MLA; Mr. R. Hawes, MLA; Ms. J. Kwan, MLA; Mr. M. Farnworth, MLA.

1. The Committee approved its agenda for today's meeting.

2. The Committee continued its review of services to Members of the Legislative Assembly including pay, benefits, allowances and parliamentary and constituency office expenses.

3. The Legislative Assembly Management Committee was advised that the House would consider recommendations made by the Committee in relation to Members' pay, benefits, allowances and parliamentary and constituency office expenses this afternoon following Question Period and that the Government House Leader would introduce a Bill implementing the recommendations, in the manner consistent with the Committee's view that these matters be decided upon in a public forum.

4. The Committee adjourned at 11:50 a.m. to the call of the Chair.

Hon. Bill Barisoff, MLA
Speaker and Chair

Craig James
Clerk of Committees and
Clerk Assistant

8 Comments

Hey everyone. It's Dagmar.

I'm back on Public Eye. I was over at the Babble Strike Site but got banned there. I thought they were on strike for justice -- apparently their just society doesn't include trolls.

This is interesting to see when these meetings took place. Makes Carole look all the more foolish for doing an about face on the deal way after the fact.


Hey if you want to attract good people to run our province (or sit in opposition) you have to pay them a decent wage. The current MLA salary (about $74 K) is half what MPs make ! People should not have to take a massive pay cut to serve. I challenge anyone out there to say that MLAs (of all stripes) dont work long hours , and put up with a lot of BS from Constiuents. To paraphrase disco icon Donna Summer ...... they work hard for their money !

This goes for political staff as well . If you want to have the best and brightest advising cabinet , then pay them a wage that attracts more that just the most altrustic !!

I wonder if the BCTF or any other public sector Union would stand for being paid about half what counterparts in Ottawa make. Somehow I suspect not.

Clearly a fair amount of work did go into this. Carole James was either badly informed or full of crap.

Standing up for your caucas members is something that real leaders should do, more so after you have an angreement in place. A Leader should not sell out everyone from the safety of Sask. with a cell phone.

Credit Mr.Holman and the Public Eye to come through with the goods.

"Hey if you want to attract good people to run our province (or sit in opposition) you have to pay them a decent wage. The current MLA salary (about $74 K) is half what MPs make !"

MLA's have a much smaller constituency than do
MP's and the travel from the riding to Victoria
than it is to and from Ottawa, esp. in the West.

"People should not have to take a massive pay cut to serve. I challenge anyone out there to say that MLAs (of all stripes) dont work long hours , and put up with a lot of BS from Constiuents. "

For some, the salary is a gain, not a pay cut.

Not everyone earns $110,000 a year.

As for the BS from constituents it goes with
the job. The job isn't all going to openings
and kissing babies, and going to the annual
Premier's bun toss.

"This goes for political staff as well . If you want to have the best and brightest advising cabinet , then pay them a wage that attracts more that just the most altrustic !!"

Some of the staffers over there aren't worth the money they're getting now. Some are inexcusably
inefficient.

Here's a novel idea. How about hiring political
staff who actualy have academic and/or occupational knowledge about the subject area of their Ministry? That should earn
more points than being a power sauced party organiser or daddy donating money to the party.

Basi and Virk were not the brightest lights at
the front of the Liberal bus.

Those two had to be the worst example of hiring
political people.

A few of the MA's and EA's in Victoria have
little specific knowledge of the subject area of
their Ministry. Some have been MAs and EAs for too long.

Makes a big different when you have an apperciation for the subject area and not the
amount on the paycheque.

What stunk wasn't the amount of the pay raise (although it clashed loudly when compared to 0-0-0 and pay cuts for other British Columbians).

No. What stunk was the sneaky, lying, deceitful style of this new legislation with its last-minute ram-through. So very ... uh, um ... like, sorta crooked, you might say?

Au contraire, BC Guy. I don't know for sure, but I've always imagined Basi and/or Virk as very bright, and very ambitious young guys who quickly learned to read the chicken entrails very well indeed.

I can't see how Basi or Virk initiated or even inspired the plan to give away BC Rail and Roberts Bank, for instance. But they certainly knew what was going down, and how to please their leaders.

No. what stunk about the legislation was the way that Carole reneged at the last moment and sold out her caucus as has been mentioned before from the safety of a cell phone in Saskatchewan. That's Carole James. That's the leadership that the NDP has right now.

"Au contraire, BC Guy. I don't know for sure, but I've always imagined Basi and/or Virk as very bright, and very ambitious young guys who quickly learned to read the chicken entrails very well indeed. "

Ambitious and wanting power and influence.

"I can't see how Basi or Virk initiated or even inspired the plan to give away BC Rail and Roberts Bank, for instance. But they certainly knew what was going down, and how to please their leaders."

yeah right. They could have said "get out of my office" and end it right there, but obviously they didn't as they wanted to fly to Denver to
see the Broncos play. Too much I guess to see
'em on their own dime in Seattle or in front
of a pizza while watching Monday Night Football.

For what was said about these two as being very bright, they are incredibly stupid when it came to politics.

They obviously weren't the sharpest pencil in the desk drawer.

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