In the last while listening to the news all we hear are reporters and union bosses and our elected opposition talking about all the nurses and front line workers that are being laid off.
The people doing the complaining are the opposition NDP and the unions. They are not telling the true story of the desperate state of finances in this province, created by our now opposition government the NDP.
Let’s talk about the real problem.
The Alberta government has increased the healthcare budget by $201 million this year to a total of $20.6 billion. That is 35 per cent of the entire $58.7 billion Alberta budget.
The problem is not the nurses, the problem is AHS executive, management and poor management of expenses.
AHS President and CEO Dr. Verna Yiu made $676,000 plus an additional $49,000 in supplement Pension Plan and Retirement Plan in 2018. 2019 numbers are not out yet, but I am sure she has a raise. To put this into perspective, the Prime Minister of Canada makes $357,800.00 and the Alberta Premier makes $186,170.00 after he took a 10 per cent cut.
Seventeen of the top AHS executives made $6,085,000 plus an additional $366,000 for their Pension Plan and Supplemental Retirement Plan. There are 11 people who sit on the AHS Board that receive a total of $334,000 in addition to their normal incomes. Then there are 77 Senior AHS Leadership Positions (EVP,SVP1,SVP2,VP1,VP2) that make a minimum of $146,000-$375,500 and that rises to a maximum of $264,000-$643,750.
There are many claims regarding the ridiculous ratios of employees to managers. Some say one manager for every five employees and some say it’s now as low as one to three. Plus these managers have managers.
The province is suggesting a 2.8 per cent reduction in wage which would equals to a savings of $233,016,000 per year or $932,064,000 in four years just in salaries.
AHS are using the nurses as a bargaining pawn and that’s really unfortunate for them. It’s time someone cut some of the fat off the top of AHS.
The unions are asking for a 7-8 per cent increase which would cost $665,760,000 a year, or $2.663 billion for four years. The unions have clauses written into them so if one union gets a raise then they all get the same. Can you imagine how this kind of a raise would affect the Government’s budget and what it would do to taxpayers who always end up paying the bills?
This whole thing is not about nurses or front line workers and how important they are, it’s about how AHS is deflecting the focus from their executive and their ability to run efficiently.
It seems to me that the whole healthcare thing worked a lot better when it was run by the local hospital boards, at least we didn’t to have to pay such big salaries, and they knew what was needed.
James A. Cook, Westerose