Of course, in BC's healthcare system, bumps in the upper ranks are contagious. Even before examination of Interior Health Authority financials, I knew that treatment enjoyed by senior managers in the lower mainland would be similar in the region that spreads east from Princeton to the Alberta border and north to Williams Lake.
The IHA's top ten in 2008 averaged $231,000 in salaries and personal expenses. Three years later, average earnings of the top ten had grown to more than $281,000, an increase of 22%, remarkably similar to that at the Fraser Health Authority.
In reviewing salaries paid administrators, I noted a few individual situations that ordinary healthcare workers might consider unusual.
CEO Murray Ramsden retired voluntarily in 2009, He was not fired; he left with plaudits from his board and a pension worth about 10 times that of a typical hospital worker. Nevertheless, IHA provided an extra payment to him of about $200,000 on retirement. This wasn't a deferred payment scheme because, in the four years from 2005 to 2009, Ramsden's remuneration had grown by 32%, considerably more than the rate of increase enjoyed by most IHA workers.
Allan Sinclair saw his take grow by 50% from 2008 to 2011, Peggy Yakimov's rose 65%. Cathy Renkas, who handles public relations for IHA, received a 27% raise in 2009 and 27% again in 2010. In fiscal 2011, her remuneration was up more than 12%. (I'm told fiscal 2012 will show another large jump.)
Perhaps I should not complain about Renkas getting 80% more over three years because she's the one that has to explain why the region's healthcare workers must accept a net-zero reality.
If we are truly experiencing tough economic times — Kevin Falcon claims yes some days, no on other days — citizens must share the pain in equivalent style. Don't tell a floor cleaner that she gets almost nothing after the job she did for 25 years is contracted out while persons in the same industry wearing suits and ties receive retirement parties and six-figure severance cheques to accompany fabulous pensions, after only a few years.
Another note to consider when thinking about fair treatment for healthcare workers:
Since Merritt has one full time paramedic for 4 days a week, the busy and dangerous Coquihalla Highway is largely reliant on part-time ambulance personnel who might earn $2 per hour for at-home standby and $10 per hour for at-station. Murray Ramsden's retirement bonus was the equivalent of 12,500 paramedics sitting on standby for a day.Recommend this post