The provincial government is in the hot seat again this week.
Social Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux confirmed on Tuesday that senior executives at Community Living B.C. (CLBC) will be receiving hefty pay hikes to make up for their lost wages — pay hikes that come a mere few months after CLBC was the focus of a major scandal that resulted in senior officials being fired after it was revealed that many CLBC clients were being forced out of their group homes.
At that time, the Liberal government called for a full review and they pledged to end the bonus structure. So the bonuses are gone, but the executives are still going to receive pay hikes? What is the difference? The answer is not much when you see how the numbers break down.
According to documents sent to media outlets by various advocacy groups and the NDP this week, three vice-presidents who earned up to 10 per cent of their base salary in bonuses will now get a 9.66 per cent permanent increase in salary, or $11,871 once pension contributions are included.
Directors and managers, who, when the bonus structure was in place, were given up to five per cent in bonuses will now get up to a 4.96 per cent pay hike — in the neighbourhood of between $3,600 and $4,700.
The Minister, in effect, is basically rewarding senior staff with pay hikes for doing a job that they clearly messed up on. How is that fair or right?
Advocacy groups are also outraged by the fact that front line workers, those who are trying to provide much-needed care for the CLBC clients, many of whom are society’s most vulnerable, have not had a pay increase in three years. So the managers are getting more money, yet the care workers — the ones trying to make a difference — are left with nothing. Can you see how messed up this picture is?
And how can the Liberals justify giving out pay hikes when they are calling for zero salary increases for other unions and other ministries? The government and B.C. teachers are still locked in a bitter dispute with no end in sight. B.C. nurses and other health care providers are still without a contract and in negotiations, as are other unions in this province, all looking for more money.
If the Liberals truly wanted accountability, then they should be calling for a full independent review of CLBC and its management structure. Let’s see what’s working and what’s not and be accountable to the public.
How is this decision being accountable to the public?
This is just another example of how lost and out of touch the Liberal government really is.