In a class by herself

Last week, the Campbell administration said it was increasing the maximum payable salaries for its top bureaucrats to "maintain B.C.'s competitiveness in recruiting and retaining the talent necessary to lead the public service." After all, according to the government, British Columbia's deputy minister wages weren't "keeping pace" with civic service paycheques across the country. And keeping pace is important because within the next 10 years "51 per cent of deputy ministers will retire" - necessitating a 34.93 percent increase to their maximum salaries. But we fail to see how any of this justifies giving their boss Jessica McDonland a 42.91 percent increase.

After all, when Ms. McDonald was first appointed as the premier's deputy minister in June 2005, The Province Michael Smyth reported she was "believed to be in her late 30s." So there's little chance she'll be retiring on or before 2018. Moreover, prior to being hired in November 2003 as the special projects deputy minister in the premier's office, Ms. McDonald had been a land programs manager at the ministry of environment, lands and parks and a public land management consultant. Arguably, neither of those jobs would have qualified her to become the head of a provincial civil service. So, if the Liberals are having trouble retaining her, it's at least partially because of the opportunities Gordon Campbell has afforded to Ms. McDonald.


As head of the BC Public Service Jessica MacDonald created a Human Resource plan in October 2006. This plan contained no measurements or quantifiable goals, but lots of glossy pictures of happy smiling civil servants and plenty of rah rah statements.

Jessica MacDonald's HR 'plan' does not contain a single solitary measurement. Not one. This is tantamount to a child saying they plan to clean their room more often, and then expecting an increase in allowance when the room is clearly a pigsty. This 'plan' was created in 2006. It also applies for 2007, 2008 and 2009. This plan is being updated yearly with no available record of the previous versions.

I have never seen a business plan from a seasoned, experienced and qualified individual that was not based upon measurements, indicators, with historical data and future projections. Why was this 'plan' released when it is so utterly pathetic, surely Gordon isn't trying to palm us off with platitudes and pretty pictures?

If you don't promise to deliver, and there aren't any indicators in place to show progress or lack of progress it is easy to declare a victory and ask for more money.

Shame on BC.

As of January 2007 just under FOUR TIMES as many people quit government as opposed to retired.

This is after the increase in management wages. Why is Jessica focusing so hard on retiring staff when her house is on fire?

Could the government start to entertain the idea that the problems with the civil service cannot be addressed with ceremonies, powerpoint presentations and scarfs?

If government is serious about retention - tie retention to management salaries!

Martin, your posts are very intelligent and you are obviously an experienced manager.

Intelligence and experience aren't what Campbell values.

What Campbell values is power to do with as he wishes.

Why is Jessica "focusing so hard on retiring staff when her house is on fire"?

You think that she cares that her house is on fire? Or that Campbell cares?

It's all about the money.

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