Cue the champagne fountain!

As you now doubt have already heard, the independent commission to review MLA compensation has recommended a dramatic 29 percent increase to the base salary for provincial legislators, effective April 1. That's significantly more than the 15 percent increase MLAs voted for last November - a compensation package that was eventually nixed by the New Democrats. As before, the biggest winners are those receiving special allowances, such as cabinet members and caucus officers. The reason: those bonuses are going up by up to 227 percent in one case. In keeping with past practice, the following is complete copy of how much everyone who isn't a backbencher will get paid if those recommendations are accepted, as compiled and calculated by your humble organ.

Premier (Liberal Gordon Campbell)

New annual special allowance $88,200 (up $43,200 or 96.00 percent from $45,000)
New total annual compensation $186,200 (up $65,100 or 53.76 percent from $121,100)

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 $49,000 (up $10,000 or 25.64 percent from $39,000)
New total annual compensation $147,000 (up $31,900 or 27.72 percent from $115,100)

Member of executive council without portfolio (Liberal John van Dongen, Gordon Hogg Kevin Krueger, Linda Reid)

New annual special allowance $34,300 (up $9,300 or 37.20 percent from $25,000)
New total annual compensation $132,300 (up 31,200 or 30.86 percent from $101,100)

Parliamentary secretary (Liberal David Hayer, Richard Lee, Blair Lekstrom Mary Polak, Val Roddick)

New annual special allowance $14,700 (up $6,000 or 145.00 percent from $6,000)
New total annual compensation $112,700 (up $30,600 or 37.27 percent from $82,100)

Speaker (Liberal Bill Barisoff)

New annual special allowance $49,000 (up $10,000 or 25.64 percent from $39,000)
New total annual compensation $147,000 (up 31,900 or 27.72 percent from $115,100)

Deputy Speaker (Liberal Sindi Hawkins)

New annual special allowance $34,300 (up $14,800 or 75.90 percent from $19,500)
New total annual compensation $132,300 (up $36,700 or 38.39 percent from $95,600)

Assistant Deputy Speaker (New Democrat Sue Hammel)

New annual special allowance $34,300 (up $14,800 or 75.90 percent from $19,500)
New total annual compensation $132,300 (up $36,700 or 38.39 percent from $95,600)

Committee of the whole deputy chair (Liberal Harry Bloy)

New annual special allowance $19,600 (up $10,600 or 117.78 percent from $9,000)
New total annual compensation $117,600 (up $32,500 or 38.19 percent from $85,100)

Leader of the Official Opposition (New Democrat Carole James)

New annual special allowance $49,00 (up $10,000 or 25.64 percent from $39,000)
New total annual compensation $147,000 (up $31,900 or 27.72 percent from $115,100)

Government Whip (Liberal Randy Hawes)

New annual special allowance $19,600 (up $10,600 or 117.78 percent from $9,000)
New total annual compensation $117,600 (up $22,500 or 23.66 percent from $95,100)

Government Deputy Whip (Liberal Dennis Mackay)

New annual special allowance $14,700 (up $8,700 or 145.00 percent from $6,000)
New total annual compensation $112,700 (up $30,600 or 37.27 percent from $82,100)

Opposition House Leader (New Democrat Mike Farnworth)

New annual special allowance $19,600 (up $10,600 or 117.78 percent from $9,000)
New total annual compensation $117,600 (up $32,500 or 38.19 percent from $85,100)

Official Opposition Whip (New Democrat Katrine Conroy)

New annual special allowance $19,600 (up $10,600 or 117.78 percent from $9,000)
New total annual compensation $117,600 (up $32,500 or 38.19 percent from $85,100)

Official Opposition Deputy Whip (New Democrat Doug Routley)

New annual special allowance $14,700 (up $8,700 or 145.00 percent from $6,000)
New total annual compensation $112,700 (up $30,600 or 37.27 percent from $82,100)

Government caucus chair (Liberal John Yap)

New annual special allowance $19,600 (up $10,600 or 117.78 percent from $9,000)
New total annual compensation $117,600 (up $32,500 or 38.19 percent from $85,100)

Official Opposition caucus chair (New Democrat Jenny Kwan)

New annual special allowance $19,600 (up $10,600 or 117.78 percent from $9,000)
New total annual compensation $117,600 (up $32,500 or 38.19 percent from $85,100)

Select standing, select or special committee chair (New Democrat Robin Austin, Rob Fleming Liberal Iain Black, John Rustad, Katherine Whittred)

New annual special allowance $14,700 (up $8,700 or 145.00 percent from $6,000)
New total annual compensation $112,700 (up $30,600 or 37.27 percent from $82,100)

Select standing, select or special committee deputy chair (New Democrat Leonard Krog, Guy Gentner, Liberal Ron Cantelon, Joan McIntyre)

New annual special allowance $9,800 (up $6,800 or 226.67 percent from $3,000)
New total annual compensation $107,800 (up $28,700 or 36.28 percent from $79,100)

22 Comments

Let’s hope they have the good sense to see how perverse the optics of an increase like this would be after the Vancouver School District just slashed almost $6 million from its provincially allocated budget last night. Those cuts will disproportionately affect students with special needs as “reductions” will be made to support workers and “non-enrolling” teachers (the ones who help kids in the Learning Assistance/Resource/ESL centres) despite the fact enrolment of these kids is growing by the year. If we can’t afford to support our most vulnerable children in this province, surely we can’t afford massive increases for our politicians. How about making pay raises proportional to funding increases for public education?

Nice work if you can stand the BS and those subsidized meals and other perks. My heart bleeds for them

Hilarious! just look at the committee members and this was a foregone conclusion, but still a little shocking to say the least.

Disgusting really.

Hmm.... now it is ALMOST starting to look like a worthwhile occupation.

But, since the salaries are still far below what senior civil servants in the provincial public sector get, perhaps that remains to be the more attractive occupation.

My question is: did the New Democrats figure out they could tube the previous increases, get some political credit, and end up with even higher increases from an independent board? Sounds like a win-win-win for the champagne socialists. Surely they will donate back these kind of private-sector increases, won't they???

Oink Oink on both sides of the house.

If the MLA's don't like the pay, then we'll see about a 5% raise.

If they don't like the raise, then they can punch out and pick up their Record of Employment form
at the reception desk.

This is insane.

If any idiot defends the MLAs by saying "they work hard and long", well I'll repley by saying

"So what? try being a volunteer for one of them,
putting in the hours to help the riding and the MLA's fortunes, not getting paid and watching while power hungry dolts who don't really do any work get the credits and the political goodies."

IF anyone says higher MLA salaries are needed to
attract high quality people to run, then just look at some of the clowns on each side of the house that ran and unfortunately won. There's only
a real few high quality people from both sides of
the house that would deserve a raise.

The of course there's the BC Liberals and NDP.

Which party is really working on attracting high quality volunteers and keeping them?


Patti - You may want to think your theory through. The last pay increase for MLA salary was 1997 - and since the Ministry of Education was not a stand alone ministry until 2000 - we can calculate that the budget has increased 26 per cent since the 99/00 budget (from $4.3 Billion to $5.5 billion).

How about applying your theory to the health ministry? That Ministry has seen an 87 per cent increase in funding since 1997 ($7.07 Billion - $12.96). Would you recommend the pay raise be proportional to that funding increase?

I agree - 29 per cent is shocking, but we cannot let the (incredibly incorrect) perspecitve that all politicians are bad people cloud the fact that these people do work incredibly hard and long hours and deserve to be fairly compensated. I imagine we will see them implement a 15 per cent increase and a modest pension fund.

I support a raise but these increases are unthinkable.

I expect that along with Patti's observations, there are endless other examples of how this government dismisses the needs of children and youth while supporting a massive salary increase for themselves AND a DAILY ALLOWANCE of over $4,000 while the house is sitting. Surely there was an error in reporting this allowance on TV tonight - I can't imagine how it could ever be justified, even by the likes of the Campbell clones. But then, nothing emerging from this government surprises me anymore.

Another example of caring for children, BC Liberal style: the Mary Manning Centre, an excellent and much needed resource for abused children, has had to give lay-off notices this week to 3 of its therapists due to lack of funding. So much for DM Lesley du Toit's mantra of "children/youth first, children/youth first, children/youth first". Why has the Deputy failed to convince the Minister and Cabinet that the Mary Manning Centre requires stable funding and increased staffing? Where is her focus and what has she contributed to BC's children, youth and families more than a year into her 4 year contract?

Senior Public servants are required to meet certain goal posts every year in terms of performance. I think that our politicians ought to have to do the same - they should have to EARN their salaries!

Michael T is right - it's disgusting.

This is the most outrageous result an "independent commission" ever came up with, and the 30% pay increase seems to be the most reasonable part. Its the gold plated pension plan that will the big drain on the public coffer. Now these old timers are going to try to hang on for dear life to make the pension eligibility requirements, rather than just step aside.

I am glad this whole issue is being raised in light of Ken D and the Basi/Virk trial, hopefully the public outcry will be loud enough to stop these recommendations.

So my question to you is not "Deal....or no deal", but "Have you written your MLA yet?"

Independent commisions on politicians pay always recommend large increases... I'm not shocked and nor should any one else be.

The real question is, if no matter who sits on the commission, the commissions come up with huge increases... maybe it is time to accept that politicians are underpaid!!!

(Do you think it mere coincidence that Campbell hand-picked for the commission three individuals who work in fields where six-figure salaries are the norm, and somehow failed to appoint anyone who works for the minimum wage, or belongs to a trade union, or is unemployed? Golly, one might have thought this omission would have aroused some response from NDP MLAs, but so far, only puzzling silence.)
Nope. A sizeable boost in legislative pay and benefits will be enacted before summer. To borrow an old phrase often heard in the legislative precincts, "the fix is in."
The above is taken from the "TYEE" of May 1, 2007

Senior Public servants are required to meet certain goal posts every year in terms of performance. I think that our politicians ought to have to do the same - they should have to EARN their salaries!

Pardon me, SM, but is this an attempt at humour? If so, I forgot to laugh. Just ask Ken Dobell.

The new base pay for an MLA will now be $98,000 per year. How does this compare to the pay of federal MPs, or for that matter, unelected Senators? How does it compare to the pay of Alberta MLAs and Ontarion MPPs?

And how does it compare to what we pay a high school principal or a school district superintendant or a health board middle manager? How does it compare to what is paid to the manager of a suburban bank branch or to the manager of a fast food outlet?

I see the bleedingheart contingent is alive and well, led ably by the ever-hypocritical activist Patti, who can't even get her maths straight...

The commission should be congratulated for finally bringing MLA's salaries into line with all the occupations Budd listed above.

Those of you on the bitch-train are likely to blow a gasket if you don't sit and think this through properly, sans the venom for one party or the other.

If you want to attract good people you have to pay them. Blue Boy, is right, in part only.....

We might only have a few highly qualified, on both sides of the aisle, I'll agree, but this will help get better players I assure you. It won't be perfect, but it will help, and, frankly, it's what's fair. Those of you still thinking that fifty grand a year will support most families, who essentially lose a parent when one goes off to serve the people, think again. And for those that are single, good for them.

Public office is unforgiving, yes, but the pay issue has nothing to do with this.

The breadth of what the job requires should see a better calibre than what we've got currently. Raising the amount they are paid is a start. They should also bring the pensions back.

Whine at your own risk.

Just to correct EB's post for the record, the last MLA pay raise was not in 1997. Their pay is indexed - though not to the full CPI - and rises every year.

Statement from Carole James.

May 2, 2007

The NDP Caucus has now had an opportunity to carefully consider the report of the independent panel on MLA compensation. And we thank the authors for their detailed proposals.

However, the NDP Caucus does not accept the report’s recommendations. We feel that they are out of step with what is acceptable to British Columbians. MLA compensation is a difficult and complex issue. But any further consideration of the matter is not a high priority for the NDP Caucus at this time.

"The commission should be congratulated for finally bringing MLA's salaries into line with all the occupations Budd listed above.""

Sorry ALex, doesn't wash. The political representative is quite different than ordinary 9 to 5 people.

Besides, if you think the MLA's have it tough, try being an uncompensated volunteer working to
keep that MLA in office and looking good.

The commission erred as they didn't compare apples to apples. That is, take a look at compensation from MLA's and MNA's across Canada and make comparisions in terms of per person representation, etc. etc. They erred in comparing
MLA's and MNA's to CEO's. The two positions are
quite different.

"Those of you on the bitch-train are likely to blow a gasket if you don't sit and think this through properly, sans the venom for one party or the other."

What is there to think through? People are supposed to serve the province, Alex, not themselves. It means compensation at a good amount, not cashing in. People know how much an MLA gets and if they want to run, that is their choice.

:We might only have a few highly qualified, on both sides of the aisle, I'll agree, but this will help get better players I assure you.

Will it? Since when does additional salaries attract 'good people'? You've seen and I've seen
poor quality people? Even some of the Ministrial
Assistants in the past were insanely poor quality.
I've met a few who were really good, but quite a
few others who were just there to 'cash in' and
feed their self-importance. A good recent example
is Basi and Virk. Best example of the worst kind
of hiring done.

"It won't be perfect, but it will help, and, frankly, it's what's fair. Those of you still thinking that fifty grand a year will support most families, who essentially lose a parent when one goes off to serve the people, think again. And for those that are single, good for them."

That person who 'goes off' to serive the people
is getting paid $76,000 per year or more.

Public office is unforgiving, yes, but the pay issue has nothing to do with this.

The breadth of what the job requires should see a better calibre than what we've got currently. Raising the amount they are paid is a start. They should also bring the pensions back.

Disagree on thatone.

Whine at your own risk.

We're taxpayers and political party volunteers, we're entitled to whine.

Typical Liberals. Always want something for nothing.

They work hard and long? They didn't when they cancelled the fall sitting of the legislature.

'I see the bleedingheart contingent is alive and well, led ably by the ever-hypocritical activist Patti,
Those of you on the bitch-train
Whine at your own risk.'

Who is this guy A. G. Tsakumis?

I come across his posts from time to time and they are so predictable. You may think that you are being just so cool with your comments, Tsakumis, but I want to tell you that the last time I heard someone talking as you do, it was out of the mouth of someone who just beat up his spouse and you are so very so uncool.

'Whine at your own risk?'

Are you threatening us?

Get some anger management training dude.

All I can say is, i am not surprised but i am so disgusted by this. Enjoy the trough piggies! Oh and thank you so much for the 2.5% raise you gave me, it feels so fair now.

SM,

Apart from being witness to spousal abuse, not being able to read or write properly, casting baseless allegations is there anything else you'd like to tell us about yourself?

Didn't think so.

Spousal abuse is as repugnant an act as I can think of...your feeble jab was very unfunny, I'm sure to all.

I used to know someone with this problem, and I'm not sure if he ever bothered to fix it. Funny, he wasn't very coherent writer either...

Oh well, please give our best to your therapist.


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