Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Adventures in not net zero land

Unprecedented readership of this article first posted March 4 causes me to bring it back to the top. I encourage people among the thousands of new readers to return and look through almost 1,500 articles published during the past three years.

Helping manage the BC government's war on school teachers and public education is Deputy Minister of Education James Gorman. He is a long time senior bureaucrat.

Public accounts show his salary in fiscal 2006 was $164,085.  In fiscal 2011, it was $228,942, an increase of 40% in five years. During that period, Gorman's expenses were $136,616.

Gorman looks positively frugal compared to his colleague Rick Davis. The Education Ministry's Superintendent of Achievement incurred expenses of $432,234 from 2006 to 2011. Spending more than $6,000 a month on lunches and such can't leave much time for business but Davis is consistent, if nothing else.

John Dyble, Premier Photo-Op's Deputy Minister, has also done well in the land of not net zero. Public accounts show that Dyble's salary rose from $161,455 in fiscal 2006 to $239,121 in 2011. That was a 48% gain in five years but, the good news for Dyble is that his salary was bumped again in March 2011. His new rate is $310,000, about double what he earned five years ago.


Graham Whitmarsh, DM in the Health Ministry, had his salary go to $259,531 in fiscal 2010, 42% more than he earned in 2008. Whitmarsh charged additional personal expenses of $168,410 in the last four years.

Keith Miller, ADM for the Education Ministry's Resource Management division earned $106,172 in fiscal 2009 and $172,381 in 2011, a growth of 62%.

Renate Butterfield, ADM for Business, Technology & Online Services Division, saw her salary grow 42% from 2006 to 2011.

David Loukidelis, long a senior Liberal bureaucrat, got 11% this year, a raise that makes his salary 42% more than it was in 2006.

Cheryl Wenezenki-Yolland, DM Advanced Education, has enjoyed steady increases in each of the last few years, including 27% ($47,000) in 2012. Since 2006, her earnings are up 115%.

Lynda Tarras, Associate Deputy Minister in Finance, scored healthy increases each year, moving her salary up by $86,459 or 78% from 2006 to 2011.

Paul Straszak from the Solicitor General's ministry got a $59,760 (42%) raise between 2007 and 2009.

Steve Munro, DM of Aboriginal Relations earned $180,605 in fiscal 2011 but his salary in 2012 is $225,000, a one year increase of 25%.

Valerie St. John, ADM, Technology Solutions had to make do with a 9% raise in 2011, a year of net-zero for non-mandarins.

Sarf Ahmed, ADM, Integrated Workplace Solutions took raises in 2010 and 2011 totalling 14%.

Brad Grundy, ADM/EFO, Corporate Services, did a little better, his 2011 raise was 29%.

Wes Shoemaker, DM of Agriculture, has had three straight years of non net zero, adding $54,385 (32%), making his 2011 salary $224,229.

Dana Hayden, Deputy Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, scored 8% this year, a raise of almost $20,000.

Kim Henderson, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government got a raise of 6.5% in 2011, about $1,200 a month.

Stephen Brown, Deputy Minister, Children and Family Development, has a $2,000 a month raise in 2011, 13% in the Liberal government's world of not net zero.

Don Fast, DM in the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, has gained 18% over the last three years.

Kim Henderson, DM of Labour, got a $1,200 a month bump in 2011. Her 2011 salary of $235,000 is 55% more than the Liberal government paid her in 2009.

Pierrette Maranda, Associate Deputy Minister, Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat, earns 23% more in the current year than she earned in fiscal 2011.

Peter Milburn, DM in the Ministry of Finance, has had a particularly pleasant ride. This year, his salary rose 7% to $250,000, double what he was paid in 2006. Milburn also does better than most when it comes to expense accounts. Over a number of years, he averaged $3,000 a month. While that is not in Rick Davis territory, it is still an amount that shows remarkable disdain for taxpayers.

There is no austerity among the policy makers in Victoria. Keep in mind that their pensions and ancillary benefits are extravagant compared with those of ordinary public servants. Pensions for senior staff today are particularly extraordinary in relation to pensions paid a generation ago. There are few constraints because, among the mandarins, one person's gain quickly spreads to the rest. So, if the Finance Ministry decides that their Deputy Minister, Assistant Deputy Ministers and Associate Deputy Ministers are worth two, three or four hundred thousand a year, soon every ministry is paying like amounts.

Even cabinet ministers and MLA's start to think they should be paid as much or more than those they supposedly direct. There is no one willing to say no.


Sign an online petition if you support fair negotiations with BC's school teachers.


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94 comments:

  1. An obvious pattern here. There is money for Liberal friends doing important jobs but bugger all for the rest.

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    1. It's such a dark day now that Abbott, Clark, Gorman and Davis have gotten their way by passing Bill 22. On top of all the extra costs that the public pays including the HST, now they are going to have to pay for all the extracurricular things the teachers won't do now--sports teams, drama, tutoring.... Working to contract and Bill 22 with its higher class sizes and any number of special education students means a whole lot less time for each student and no extras. The very things that Christy and other private school parents pay extra for are the very things that Bill 22 has stripped away for public school children. It's quite sickening but that's the way neoliberalism works.

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  2. Tell me, what the hell is a "Superintendent of Achievement". there is no doubt that he is achieving in the area that is important to him.

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    1. I was wondering the same thing. What is a Superintendent of Achievement?

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    2. Look further down for a clickable link to the job description.

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    3. If this is our BEST, we are in serious trouble, Canada.

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    4. This might give you some idea of what the "Superintendent of Achievement" is. This was taken off the BC Gov site.

      When Can I Appeal to a Superintendent of Achievement?

      If an appeal to the board of education does not resolve your concerns, you may appeal to a superintendent of achievement, as long as the matter falls within the scope of the Appeals Regulation (PDF, 25KB) and relates to:

      Expulsion from an educational program;
      Suspension from an educational program;
      Suspension from an educational program where no other educational program is made available;
      Distributed learning required as part of a disciplinary matter;
      A decision not to provide a student with an IEP;
      Consultation about placement of a student with special needs and the provision of an Individual Education Plan (IEP);
      Bullying behaviors, including intimidation, harassment or threats of violence; or
      Exclusion due to a medical condition that endangers others.

      If the matter is not within the scope of the Appeal Regulation the superintendent of achievement has no jurisdiction.

      An appeal to a superintendent of achievement may be started only after a section 11 appeal to a board of education has been heard and a decision made.

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  3. Don't you mean "Liberal friends doing IMPOTENT jobs," getting paid to bugger us? They whole bunch aren't any good for anything but landfill!

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  4. How do you actually SPEND $310,000 per year? Especially if you're involved in going to work.
    And its not as if you have to save for your retirement.

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  5. Maybe we need fewer ministers/DMs

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  6. In addition to the big salaries, these people design for themselves gold plated pensions. They're expert at layering benefit programs by moving from government to agencies of government. I tracked one senior bureaucrat who moved from direct government employment, where he had an "enhanced" pension, to BC Hydro, where he was credited with extra years of pension service and allowed to buy yet more, ensuring he would collect a second huge pension benefit funded by taxpayers, despite working only briefly for the second public employer.

    Pensions used to be gained by contributions paid during lengthy service. Now, the executives want grand salaries and even grander pensions earned quickly. Then, when the pensions are maximized, they take early retirement but continue working for government as a consultant, paid by contract.

    Of course, playing leapfrog among the ministries, these executives approve big raises for colleagues then have the colleagues approve big raises for themselves. In the meantime, they tell ordinary workers that government cannot afford to keep workers current with inflation.

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  7. I hate hypocrites, If they are going to preach "Net Zero Mandate", they better practice "Net Zero Mandate"!

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous, you have nailed the heart of this matter. These mandarins are like war profiteers who line their own pockets while ordinary folks pay the price of patriotism.

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  8. Wow! Norm, I am gobsmacked. It's a repeat of the salary hikes given to the bureaucrats working for our various health authorities (and so many of them too)! Dammit, fire a few of them and you can afford to give the nurses a raise as well.

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  9. I am a teacher who feels helpless and bullied in light of Bill 22 and the government's glossy new EduPlan. Seeing this just adds salt to the wound!

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  10. can you send this as a letter to the editor to one of the newspapers? Not likely to be published but you never know.

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    Replies
    1. The fact is that Postmedia newspapers are very selective in what they publish. This is not the kind of reporting they want.

      However, one enterprising Vancouver news person is working actively on the story and I've provided my source material. We may see the results soon.

      Delete
  11. And these are the people who ripped up teachers' contracts!

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  12. We have these guys and 400 superintendents (of varying ranks) and directors all earning $125,000 +
    It's outrageous! They all applaud the minister and the status quo--not advocating for students (whom they have no contact with) and silently managing the cuts and manipulating the trustees into thinking all is rosy

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    Replies
    1. How about "District Principals" where they hide highly paid educators who are no longer judged worthy of running a school.

      From my investigation, I'm convinced there remains waste in school systems but there are even more pathetic and harmful shortages. Some children are denied formal evaluations of learning difficulties because there are no resources or districts don't want to commit resources, to handle problem learners if difficulties are formally recognized. It's easier to burden the teacher. However, that hurts the learning opportunities of others in the classroom.

      This is but one example of the teaching conditions the BCTF wants to negotiate or mediate.

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    2. As a District Principal, my husband "ran" five schools, 12 months of the year. The job was so demanding he was forced to take early retirement, thereby sacrificing much of the pension he had contributed to throughout his career. Make no mistakes folks, teachers are not "given" pensions. They contribute very heavily every month for what they get.

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  13. Wow, they should freeze all those people's wages too. But I don't understand why you have a link to sign a petition for teachers to get raises. Two wrongs don't make a right, and poor spending in one area should not mean poor spending in another. The poor spending should simply be eliminated, and especially the government officials taking a hit before asking others to.

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    1. The petition does not discuss wages. It asks for fair contract negotiations and supports for special education. If the government merely wanted to limit wages, Bill 22 would have done that. The agenda of this legislation is far more.

      Regardless, Canada's best employers don't go to war with their employees at every opportunity. They find ways to agree on common goals and mediate differences. The teachers I talk to are worried more about not having the resources to do the work they are trained to do. With few exceptions, these are highly educated, well motivated citizens who want their students to succeed.

      Delete
    2. Yet the graphic first shows how wages compare to other provinces (of course where these wages rank depends on who you ask). The BCTF could do a better job of marketing its agenda ;)

      The BCTF is going to be hard pressed to win this battle of public opinion.

      It's not just the government waging war on the union.
      The public unions seem to be waging war on the tax payer who doesn't have as great of a deal with 2 months off and a guaranteed pension. Their earnings are certainly above average for someone with an arts degree (which most teachers have) in the public sector.
      THAT is a more accurate comparison than comparing to other public unions in other provinces.
      If it's not about the money, why doesn't the BCTF put forth a proposal that doesn't do raises or add significant costs to a budget with a deficit.

      The hypocritical acts of the government here with giving itself raises is inexcusable, but still not a valid reason to back the BCTF demands. The way the petition is positioned at the end of the article makes it look like the article is not written from a neutral point of view. I would instead prefer a link to a petition to roll back government wages and eliminate these cushy positions.
      The petition to reform MP pensions is a great example of this:
      http://taxpayer.com/issues/federal/fed-reform-mp-pensions

      I think you do a great job here of covering government self interest and corruption, but give me a break, the teachers have been getting raises far and above what people in the public sector have been getting, and are hardly in a position to find pity from others who have it tough.

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    3. I have not written that school teachers should be paid higher salaries. The main issue today, yesterday and tomorrow is about quality of education. That has much to do with class composition and availability of resources to serve needy students.

      Read through Justice Griffin's judgement in Supreme Court http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/SC/11/04/2011BCSC0469.htm

      That demonstrates much about the Liberal government's double dealing. Remember, they are trying to start a war to save their political skins. They don't want you thinking about their incompetence and dishonesty.

      Don't be diverted from real issues. You would be falling into the trap they designed.

      Delete
    4. @ anonymous...teachers require 2 Bachelors Degrees which is 6 years of schooling not just an Arts degree as you say. Secondly, teachers contribute heavily to their own pensions. Thirdly, teachers do not have summers off because they aren't paid not to mention the fact that most teachers I know spend at LEAST 3 weeks prepping, getting classrooms ready, finding ways to make students feel special on the first day, buying resources out of pocket, reading past IEP's, reading through 60-90 student files to make sure they know how to service the needs of each student INDIVIDUALLY. This is something that is expected, there is no time given for it... Nevermind trying to find resources to use for the programs or being assigned to teach a second language when you don't know it because cutbacks have gotten rid of specialists and "a teacher is a teacher is a teacher." that is how it plays out with budget constraints

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  14. Maybe there should be an audit at the government level before they discuss everyone else' s wages.. Somewhere along the line isn't there a saying that they are representatives of the people..... I don't make those kind of wages and few people I know do.... so I know the government isn't able to understand because they don't live in the same kind of conditions. I think that before they cut anymore of the working peoples budgets, the government, and big corporations that tax us, the working people like Teachers, Bus drivers, Support Staff in any corporation etc..... a very public Audit of how they spend money should be done.... I'll bet some serious cuts could be made at the top before they heap their expensive lifestyles on the blue color worker...
    In a society where the rich just get richer and the poor get poorer?? I mean there is very little middle class anymore. Maybe the should spend some time in our shoes to know exactly what they are doing to the adults of tomorrow.... the ones who will be in control of their health care, medical care and needs when these government officials are old and unable to take care of themselves.... Just a thought

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  15. It's important to remember that the BCCPAC and the school admin associations all lobbied for the stripping of teacher contracts 10 years ago. They gloated in their newfound 'flexibility' and supposed power so as twisted as Christy and Gorman are, there are many non net zero 'leaders' who encouraged her. Trustees have 'power' but no funds or freedom from board office manipulations (the six-figure non net zeros who say all is fine and blame teachers)

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  16. And the patern of theft from the public purse continues unabated.

    It would seem that the days of Charles Dickens' most famous tales of rampant poverty being enforced and perpetuated by our chosen rulers have returned.

    The next (current) financial collapse will make the Depression Era of the 1930's look like a pauper's dream-world.

    Greece, the Cradle of Democracy, is burning. This is just a shadow of what is coming to the rest of civilisation.

    Entropy prevails!

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    1. I fear you are correct because, if one follows the trend lines of change, disaster awaits. Not this year, nor next year, but within 20 years Canada will come apart at the seams.

      One simply has to examine history and see that, every casual move toward destruction of democracy, whether it is Harper's vote suppression campaign or Christy Clark's team hijacking the BC Liberal leadership race, moves us toward totalitarianism and eventual revolution.

      We have become little better than Putin's Russian empire.

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  17. And THAT scares the Hell out of me!!

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  18. Bill 23: Retroactively cut all senior government employees wages by 50%
    going back five years and remove their pensions.

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    Replies
    1. No, just make their pensions on a par with the remaining public servants. That would be a realistic and fair goal.

      Delete
  19. You know they're fucking you, but you just don't know how bad it really is.....this should be criminal.

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  20. Wonder what happened when the NDP was in power..... SAME THING, they simply fired the previous crowd, hired their buddies, and lined those pockets. No shortage of union hacks in that crowd either.

    Just saying that the grass isn't necessarily greener...

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    1. You are somewhat correct but the scale of salaries has grown immensely. I did know someone in the nineties who became a ministerial assistant. For him, it was the best job he ever had, much better than the period of unemployment that preceded his political gig. But his salary was well less than half of what gets paid today.

      Frankly, if you accept what they are doing and merely turn a blind eye because you think others would do the same, you're part of the problem. We must achieve a higher standard of ethics and accountability.

      Honest freedom of information would be a start.

      Real Bob Mackin for a great lesson in what we could easily have if the Liberals lived up to promises. Open Letter to Premier Christy Clark

      .

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  21. I would really like to find a detailed outline of all the positions from Premier down in the Provincial Government. Is there a job description for these people somewhere? and the salary for each?

    K Mason

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    1. No, there is not much readily available. You can read through appointment letters of people on the Deputy Minister's Council but they're designed for public consumption, a PR effort, not a real effort to provide public information.

      Deputy Ministers’ Council for British Columbia

      At the Finance Ministry, you can search for documents that provide detailed schedules of expenditures for each fiscal year. That's the main source of material for this post.

      .

      Delete
  22. Valid points, however, I think the comparison needs to be parellel and not criss-cross... These ministers may make extra-ordinary amounts, but what do the average government employyes make? Not much...I hear. Then, we need to find out what the BCTF executives make. If their earnings are similar to that of the ministers, while the teachers make minimum wages, therein lies the problem.

    I am in full agreement that the teachers are underpaid, but are they fighting the right enenmies? While the teachers, on strike, don't get paid, do the BCTF executives also not get paid?

    It may be that the problem is that in any organization, union or not, the big whigs make thousands, if not hudreds f thousands of dollars more than the average worker...which brings me back to another protest we had not too long ago...

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    Replies
    1. Keep in mind that BCTF executives are paid out of the Union Dues that teachers pay. The Union executives are, therefore, privately funded out of their members' pockets, not out of public monies.

      Delete
  23. This is outrageous! Do you know how many special education assistants or counsellors this could employ? There are people like this in every district too! Do you know how hard school PACs work to fundraise for just a tiny fraction of this money because schools are broke? No wonder!

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  24. While your figures are correct, a few facts are missing that may assist in explaining a few of those raises. At least two of those individuals listed received a promotion leading to a job with more work/ responsibility from one ministry to another, which accounts for the pay raise (e.g. a 7% lift in the past year). I agree with your sentiments, especially where teachers are concerned; however, when you fail to see the whole picture your argument weakens, and in this case it needs strength because this is an issue that impacts all of us. While the salaries may seem out of proportion, one need only look at the private market to see what an equivalent position would make in order to see why those salaries are what they are. In order for our province to retain "the best," we have to be competitive. One look at those private market salaries shows us we actually fail to compete with the private market, that those salaries are one third what could be made in an equivalent position elsewhere. Attacking others does not solve the problems with our education system. In fact, it may shift the focus away from teachers when they need our support more than ever.

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    Replies
    1. Attracting and retaining 'the best' is the standard refrain when justifying inequities in a system. It never explains or excuses the disparity and inequality that persists.. It's used in the most arbitrary and elitist way. The ever-sprawling bureaucracy need not exist in the first place--especially in a time of instant telecommunication.

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    2. That's hilarious! Net zero is not going to retain the 'best' teachers either! Such hypocrisy! What support for teachers are you talking about?

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    3. Do those expenses also attract the "best" lunches, hotels, limos, etc.? They seem INSANELY high. Just sickening.

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    4. Just because the other companies are allowing their senior bureaucrats to slop at the trough, that does not justify to the public that they should just blindly accept that the practise is necessary to attract quality personnel? It is time for the public to draw a line in the sand and demand rollbacks of their wages and overstuffed pension plans. The public can only afford to support so much and the increases granted,as published by this site, are out of line and insanely bloated.
      The public is gets angry when they watch the CEOs of corporations getting massive numbers of stock options granted to CEOs for guilding a company through tough times(in other words the balance sheet is going down) ....yes that's right, they get a huge bonus for failing on top of their already bloated salary.
      You cannot claim to be fair to teachers when you appoint a mediator with a mandate to do nothing other than trade oranges for apples. I could actually live with that if the government would allow the public to appoint an independent board to set salaries for management.
      Can the government claim that they are interested in education for kids when they just throw money in a hat and then dispense it to pay bonuses and inflated raises to management?
      Do teachers deserve a raise...probably. Do kids deserve something better than government spinning the dollars into a public photo shoot when in fact the government has done nothing? There have been cuts to special needs kids....do these children deserve a quality of schooling too? What kind of quality person would lead by taking money allocated for special needs children and then hand it back under another name and claim that they are spending big to help kids education? The public is getting really tired of this juggling instead of doing something real.
      As a parent of a special needs student, I have the utmost respect for the teachers and have had to deal with government cuts to the point of feeling beaten up and ready to give up.

      Delete
  25. oh do you mean more work like I don't know, more students in the class, fewer EA's or more special ed students per class, do you mean that kind of work.

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  26. So, continue the economic trends we see today with more and more wealth concentrated in the hands of a few. Freeze or cut the income and assets held by most people. Accept the rationalizations issued by policy makers who happen to be beneficiaries of their own policies. It is a road to ruin. An unfair society can only exist long term through application of force. Eventually, revolution follows. it has repeatedly throughout history.

    BTW, there is no evidence that we are hiring the best of anything. David Hahn was paid (including supplementary pension) almost 10 times the salary of the CEO of WA State Ferries, a company with more passenger and vehicle loadings. Now Hahn is gone and the new guy earns less than half. Did anyone admit that Hahn was a mistake? Do we have a healthy ferry system for having paid very high executive salaries. Not at all.

    Take the example of Premier Photo-Op hiring a low-level radio producer as a deputy press secretary. Was it necessary to pay her a multiple of what her private sector job paid? Or was it simply to bring her up to the 6-figure levels that her new colleagues enjoyed, in the public sector.

    Let Caterpillar tell Ontario workers their wages must be halved or their jobs exported. Continue doing that and prepare ultimately to live in a world where the rich people fence their houses with razor wire and hire armed guards to escort them when they travel.

    You have a choice. Live in a fair society or move toward totalitarianism.

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  27. WOW! Thank you Norm!

    Norm you've hit the nail on the head. This fight IS NOT ABOUT WAGES!

    The current teacher job action against bill 22 is about the proposed removal of class size limits (NO LIMIT) and resources for students (yes, that's right classes will soon be over 30!). The language in bill 22 also allows the government to fire experienced teachers who are near or at the top of the pay scale and REPLACE them with with teachers with NO QUALIFICATIONS who will accept lower wages. Yes, we've all had a bad experience with teachers. In my education I have personally had far more positive experiences. In the school I work in 90% of teachers go above and beyond and are truly dedicated teachers - why are we being punished? Why are we torn apart in the public because of a few bad apples?

    The damages that will be caused by bill 22 go further - For example: the 'one strike your out' clause, the government will no longer have to report class size to the public, teachers (yes the ones with the education and psychology degrees) will no longer be able to use their professional judgement in the classroom and instead will follow policies and decisions created by the government - (those WITHOUT the education degrees..)
    I could go on... for now I will stop here...

    In case you didn't know - The Education Improvement Fund is money that WAS ORDERED back into education by the supreme court due to contract stripping in 2005. That's like getting a speeding ticket and calling it a donation to the police...

    Bill 22 will further deteriorate public education in BC.

    I wonder... do the above listed government officials have kids in the public system? Oh wait - they can afford private education...

    Sorry if this comes across as a rant - this bill needs to be stopped.

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  28. Some of this is misleading though, isn't it? Many of these ministers' positions have changed in the past few years, and the salaries you're comparing are for other jobs. I'm for the teachers, but make sure the facts are straight!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't notice a pattern?

      A pattern that is identified throughout the G8 economies? BC is not alone. The game book in business and government is suppress wages, elevate executive remuneration.

      Maybe you haven't noticed. Maybe you think its a healthy trend.

      Delete
  29. To people who say we must give big raises to government execs so that we have "the best" people, can I ask what happened? Despite government pumping all this extra money to its top people, it is swirling down the toilet, less popular than anytime in recent memory. How come "the best" are producing shitty government?

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    Replies
    1. Perfectly true. Competence is not a hallmark of BC Liberals.

      Delete
  30. Wow! Vaughn Palmer has started to write truthfully about the government and Bill 22. I sure hope he doesn't get fired. Clark and Gorman's true intent is right there in black and white (in their own words) in a corporate newspaper.

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  31. Oh my god. I looked up what a Superintendent of Achievement was, and discovered that there are actually TWO of them. Here's a link to their job description: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/departments/achievement/ My head nearly exploded from the irony in light of the current Net-Zero mandate for education.

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    Replies
    1. Excellent link! This situation provides a text-book example of the word IRONY. Trouble is, Clark, Abbott and others have not the slightest knowledge of the word nor the brains to figure out how it might be applied.

      Another example from CKNW: "Education Minister George Abbott is appealing to the leadership of the BC Teachers' Federation to give him a call..."

      It's like a home invader threatening you with a very large stick and saying, "Talk to me."

      Delete
    2. A clickable link to the job description of Superintendent of Achievement:

      Achievement Division

      .

      Delete
    3. What a bunch of smoke in mirrors. That description talks a lot about Superintendants and districts and Ministry but does not once mention collaboration with teachers. Unless you count "executive educators" which is a smokescreen for the guy who used to work in the Ministry of Transportation but got transferred.

      Delete
  32. As a memeber of the private sector. I say cut all public pensions... Teachers, politicians, police. If OSS and CPP are good enough for us, well your teachers. figure it out.
    P.S I agree with some of the strike issues but 15% wage increas and bereeavment pay if my neighbours dog dies.. the real world doesn't work this way. why should dis-ilusioned public sector workers be given all the frrebies on top of the nice kushy teaching job????

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    Replies
    1. Oh dear. Your grammar is atrocious. You know, if you're a resident of BC, and you'd like to improve your skills, there is public funding available for you to go back to school.

      Delete
  33. We need reasonable pensions, fair to all. Most workers in the public service (executives not included) have their pensionable earnings capped by the amount specified under CPP. Even 20 plus years of service, leaves a person with a monthly retirement of less than $2,000.

    The pensions taken by senior policy makers are more generous than those given ordinary workers by factors of 500% and more. This is from my February article about the Interior Health Authority:

    "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."

    Read the whole story here: No net-zero reality for IHA executives

    .

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  34. the government needs to practice what it preaches. How do you get to be a member of their elit club?

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  35. Unless you have spent at least a month in a classroom - planning, teaching to all learning abilities, marking, extra-help, extra-curriculars - do not judge a teachers job.

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  36. "Education Minister George Abbott is appealing to the leadership of the BC Teachers' Federation to give him a call..."

    If he wasn't doing this for purely political reasons, he would have simply picked up the phone and called her, in private. The fact that he didn't, and instead left a message with the media says all we need to know about his motives.

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  37. Moi, je ne suis pas du bc et je ne connais pas l'historique des libéraux de Mme. Clark mais j'ai l'impression d'être dans une immense et malheureusement bien triste farce.

    It seems unreal to have to fight to defend kids! Shouldn't we all be fighting to protect them? Take that salary raise ( mainly an adjustment to the inflation rate) out of the equation and the teachers and more importantly the kids in bc are still losing on all accounts with bill 22. It is not only unfair and unreasonable to propose such Ideas but to try and imposed them by sheer force is showing the extend of the government lack of respect of teachers, parents and students.

    C'est une bien triste histoire!

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  38. NEVER LET REALITY OR FACTS GET IN THE WAY OF GOOD PROPAGANDA!!! Well done! Go ahead, assume that they were doing the same job in 2006 as they are doing today and that there was no promotions involved. (i.e Loukidelis used to be the Privacy Commissioner, an independent officer of the Legislature, before being DM - different job, different pay) And certainly don't mention how individual teachers moved along the salary grid during the same time getting more money each year. AND, don't mention how these folks oversee budgets in the $100's of millions and staff of thousands.

    And don't publish how big Susan Lambert's salary is, her expenses or her raises.

    Nope - don't say those things.

    Just keep saying that if teachers get richer, then kids get better educated. If the BCTF was serious about kids, they'd take the wage demands off the table and focus on the real issues instead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The issue here is not what Susan Lambert is paid since taxpayers don't pay her or her expenses. The issue that you seemed to have missed or ignored involves hypocrisy, deception and misdirection. That is coming from the BC Liberal government.

      Nor did I write here that "richer" teachers would equal better education. You show the weakness of your own position when you invent "facts" that you then argue against. In logic, the technique is called attacking a straw man.

      That is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.

      Unfortunately, it's faulty, dumb thinking like yours that keeps bad government in place. You are too easily fooled.

      Delete
    2. With regards to your last comment, if you look back at the history of the BCTF bargaining, you would see that there were numerous times during which teachers did take a zero salary increase in exchange for better learning conditions for the students. You would also see that this government ripped those improvements out with the passing of Bill 27/28. And after that was found illegal by the BC Supreme Court last year, the Liberal government when given one year to correct it came up with Bill 22 - a Bill that again removes those better learning conditions (and again illegally - just not taken to court yet since the Bill has not passed).

      So using your logic, since the government is taking away things from our collective agreement, we should be compensated monetarily.

      Delete
    3. How very sad that the best rebuttal you could come up with was an "ad hominem" attack on me. "Dumb thinking on my part", really? The issues YOU seem to have missed - and continue to propogate - is the hypocrisy, deception and misdirection in YOUR position when you don't publish the full facts around how they got increases. Einstein said - "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Thanks for another example....

      Delete
    4. Oh my, he did not say YOU were dumb (THAT would be ad hominem) but rather that your THINKING is dumb. Bureaucratic group think and ideological bias is hard to break free of once an individual succumbs but keep working at it. Education and discourse are the foundations of a functioning democracy.

      Delete
    5. I stand by my response but you are welcome to ignore it and pretend the issue is about you. Continue being a self-important twit. It is your right and you are exercising it well.

      Delete
  39. My apologies if you have mentioned this previously. What are the sources of your information?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Google this:
      Schedules of detailed expenditure BC Ministry of Finance.

      The material is in reports for each fiscal year ending March 31.

      You can also read Appointment Letters at Deputy Ministers' Council for British Columbia.

      I don't make up data here and I have few private sources. Information comes almost entirely from the public domain.

      .

      Delete
  40. When the MLAs voted to give themselves raises, they stated that there is a need to retain the best and brightest people that they can. Apparently that doesn't apply to any of the teachers, nurses, government employees and others under contract with the province as their employer, however.

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  41. So we are saying that it is bad that James Gorman gets an increase in pay of 40% in five years. Yet in my district a beginning teacher would get an increase of 42% between 2006 and now. In fact even with "net-zero" every teacher will still get an increase, except for those already at the top of their pay scale ($65,000 - $81,000).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you serious?! That's hilarious. The ten year scale for beginning teachers is absolutely ludicrous to begin with. It's hardly a living wage--especially with student loan repayments that so many deal with in addition to the many years of lost income many have experienced as full time students. How very desperate. Clearly, Gorman is entitled to his entitlements and those who justify this are as out of touch with tax payers and students as he must be.

      Delete
    2. In my district, a category 5 teacher (the most common) is maxed after 10 years. Teachers earning this have two university degrees. Category 7 is maxed out also after 10 years but these teachers have two batchelor degrees and a masters degree. Individuals continue to upgrade their education as they work, something in common with other professions.

      For the remainder of their careers, they have no possibility of increase, barring negotiated improvements. Typically, teachers make unreimbursed personal expenditures for classroom supplies and other teaching expenses and cannot even deduct these for tax purposes. Tradespeople get deductions for supplies and tools.

      BTW, working in the private sector, I have better fringe benefits than my teacher friend so its myth that educators are royally treated compared to the rest of society.

      Delete
    3. Read up on the tradespeople deductions for supplies and tools. It a really hard deductions to qualify and should not be in your argument... [remainder deleted because it discusses taxation inaccurately. Note to writer: get a better tax consultant.]

      Delete
  42. Not only that but Gorman and friends don't have to strike to get a raise and the base salary that his % increase is based on is much larger yielding a larger dollar amount. His overall income also makes it very worthwhile to hire an accountant and take advantage of every tax loophole and foreign investment scheme going. If he was doing a GREAT job he MIGHT be worth it but not with the current state of the system. Tax payers deserve a refund and damages.

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  43. I have to wonder how many of the following purchases were made by ricky davis? Time for an audit.

    http://lailayuile.com/2012/03/08/government-credit-card-purchases-show-everything-but-fiscal-discipline/#comments

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  44. Allow me to coin the phrase, "Nyet-Zero".

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  45. The thing that gets me the most...I went to high school with Gorman and his 3 siblings....his mother is a TEACHER!!! He, along with his siblibgs, were part of every extra-curricular club and took advantage of a public education system that served him well. I cannot believe he is a part of this idiocy.

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    Replies
    1. Great point! Not only is he a part of it, he is leading it! He is the chief tactician when it comes to applying neolIberal philosophy to public education. He and his siblings would not fare well in public schools today

      Delete
  46. The sad part is that what exists in Victoria has been replicated many times over in every school district board office, hospital region, university, etc. Six figure non net zero 'leaders' are paid for their silence and manipulation, managing cuts and remaining aloof and removed from the reality students, patients, and citizens face as 'beneficiaries' of a failing system.

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  47. I am sick to my stomach at these salaries.

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  48. I am a teacher. I spend my own money (hundreds of dollars a year) to buy things I need to teach and I cannot claim any of it on taxes. Reading this report makes me want to cry.

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  49. Thank you for taking the time to bring this information to peoples' attention. Someone's comment was that some of the people listed had a promotion rather than a raise. Is there a way to sort out this out?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a diversion. Pay attention to the large picture. Hypocrisy of the senior personnel is obvious. Click on the name HOWARD WALDNER of Vancouver island Health Authority or click on NOT-NET-ZERO.

      Remember also that a teacher takes 10 years to reach maximum salary and then has no change for the remaining 20 years or so of a typical career, beyond that negotiated in the overall contract.

      Delete
    2. So this is where all of our tax money is going. I was wondering, cause everyone knows we pay a great % of our salaries in taxes of all kinds. I couldn't understand why the government, with ALL OF OUR $ in their coffers can't afford to provide proper funding for Education and Health Care, to name only 2 Social services. Oh, that's right, they really want to privatise them so they won't have to pay anything to educate and keep people healthy. Hmm.

      I get so irate with their latest ads about education and teachers -they will use the $164,000,000 to hire more teachers and Special Ed Assistants - so... is that to replace ALL THE ONES THEY HAVE LAID OFF in the last five years? That sounds familiar. .. and now they want to dictate teachers Professional Days??? They DO remember that these are days that TEACHERS themselves added to the school year so that they would have an opportunity throughout the year to meet with other colleagues and grow as a profession? They were NOT PAID anything extra for these days but it was so long ago that many people have forgotten. So if they are now to dictate what teachers do are they going to pay teachers 5 extra days of salary to compensate? They are already pushing teachers to do their Professional Development in the summer with the carrot stick of being able to take these days "off" during the school year. How long do you thing having those days off will last? Yup -teachers will be forced to spend 5 days of their holiday time in the summer to do Professional development and will NOT get those days off during the school year. So, let's see... that's 5 days more that teachers have worked without extra pay for Professional Days they added to the school year and now potentially 5 days of required ProD in the summer without pay (that's holiday time). Seems to me to add up to 10 extra days that teachers are giving the government free of charge. that's a pretty good deal for the government, but oh wait.. there's more. With these ads the government is trying to convince the public that teachers don't really use their ProD days -they just take the days off!! So, the government's solution is to control the ProD days AND to control how teachers teach. have you listened to those ads? I know, I have had to start muting them out cause I get the urge to do bodily harm to my TV. You don't see the government showing ads about how many teachers take University courses during the summer (paid for by themselves) or during the school year to grow n their profession and yet they want to dictate ProD days? Are there ProD days for MLAs, cabinet ministers or premier? If so, who tells them what they have to study on those days? Hmm... lots of room for possibilities there. Maybe they could use some of those big expense accounts to fund ProD Days for themselves. There's a thought.

      One more thing about holiday time. I worked for 35 years as a teacher and got 3 weeks of paid holidays (REMEMBER PEOPLE, TEACHERS DON'T GET PAID IN THE SUMMER MONTHS. WE WORK FOR 10 MONTHS OF THE YEAR). Has there ever been a study on how long it takes other workers to get their 6 and 8 weeks of paid holidays ,,, and I'm not even talking about the people in government. Then there's the whole increments scale. How many people working in other areas have to work for 8 or 10 years to get to their maximum salary?

      Thanks for the opportunity to speak. I hope that a huge % of our BC voting population reads this.

      Delete
  50. The previous comment makes some good points.

    Does the following quote from Bill 22 say that the Government doesn't have to abide by a court ruling?

    "Retroactive effect

    24 Despite any decision of a court to the contrary made before or after the coming into force of this section, words, phrases, provisions and parts of provisions deleted, under section 8, from a collective agreement between the British Columbia Teachers' Federation and the British Columbia Public School Employers' Association must not for any purpose, including any suit or arbitration commenced or continued before or after the coming into force of this section, be considered part of that collective agreement on or after July 1, 2002."

    If so, we should all be up in arms.

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  51. Looking at the Northern Insight blogspot perspective, I would suggest that the first order of business would be to give them all a dose of their own medicine, issue their pinks slips once legislation similar to Bill 29 is passed effectively removing their rights so that they have no recourse and ability to take it before the courts. A complete misuse and waste of taxpayer monies. Your damn rights the successful beaurocrats need to punished. They're not working in our best interests. In my books, if you tell the public we are in a net zero environment, then it applies to everyone. A very classic example of taking much needed operational revenue and using it to line your pockets. Such a huge deficit since 2002 and these guys are writing themselves cheques? You're not making money. You're fired, You're gone, You're out of here. Sit down clowns. I would have them fired and deal with their court applications later and make it quick. I would think that any reasonable court would suggest that these Ministry individuals have looked at their budgets and said Hey, I've got room here to divert these funds over to a salary increase. Geeeezus Murphy this borders on being criminal.

    ReplyDelete
  52. hmmmmm, this reminds me of the Socreds back in the early 90's (?). They knew that they were going down to defeat in the polls so they booster all their faithful beaurocrats salaries AND renewed their employment contracts for 4 more years...... The result?
    The NDP came into power and immediately fired all the top Socred beaurocratic bootlickers. This had the unfortunate consequence of the issuing of MASSIVE SEVERANCE packages to all those dismissed.

    Stay tuned, I'm sure that all these beaurocrats will have their employment contracts quietly renewed 6 months before the election writ is dropped.

    I would personally enjoy watching the NDP keep these weasels in their positions and grind them to do their jobs!

    ReplyDelete

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