Airdrie MLA proposes new law
Private members bill will freeze bonuses for senior managers, executives
Airdrie MLA Rob Anderson recently proposed a law that would place a moratorium on all bonuses and limit severance packages to $200,000 for senior government managers and executives.
Anderson’s moratorium, which would apply to all non-elected government agencies and boards, as well as in all government ministries, would be effective until the year after Province’s cash deficit is eliminated.
Anderson said the law would apply to about 1,000 senior government staff.
“We aren’t talking about taking away bonuses from frontline workers, just senior management and senior executives,” said Anderson. “It’s becoming very clear that some of the bonuses and severance packages that are being put out now are disgusting and a complete waste of taxpayers’ money, especially when we have such a problem with our balance sheet.”
The Province’s deficit currently stands at about $5 billion and the PC government is projecting it will be eliminated by 2015.
Earlier this month, the media was abuzz with a claim that former Alberta Health Services Executive Vice President Andrew Will was given a $738, 000 when he left the job to take a role in Saskatchewan.
Anderson, who is the Wildrose Finance and Treasury Board Critic, said this and similar situations prompted him to propose the private members bill, which he will present in either the fall or spring sitting of the Legislature.
Anderson’s bill proposal also calls for a multi-part commission of MLAs to review the current bonus and severance policies of government departments, boards and agencies, while the moratorium is in place, to make them more reasonable and taxpayer-friendly once the freeze is lifted.
According to Anderson, bonuses and severance pay for senior staff in the public sector is often much higher than that of the private industry. It’s a practice he would like to see changed.
“People don’t get this kind of severance in the private sector,” he said. “And a lot of times, the (bonuses) aren’t tied to… actual performance. Senior management should show an example and immediately put a freeze on their performance pay until we have a more reasonable policy in place.”