B.C. GOVERNMENT SEVERANCE BILL RISES AS FIRINGS CONTINUE
VICTORIA — B.C.’s NDP government has continued to fire staff to install NDPfriendly officials, bumping up the total severance bill to taxpayers.
New government figures show the NDP has fired 23 additional communications officials since last disclosing figures in July, bringing the total of terminated employees to 148. The public cost for severances is now almost $13.6 million, up $2.2 million in the past three months.
The government argued that the 23 communications officials had actually volunteered to be fired, because they either wanted the severance amount or did not want to work for the new NDP administration.
The severance costs would have been even higher, except that seven political staffers under the former Liberal government declined severance because they went on to work for the Liberals in opposition, as did one administrative employee.
bill has also increased from the $11.3 million first announced by the NDP government in July because some of the fired employees argued for better deals, provided more information about their employment, or hired lawyers to obtain more lucrative compensation packages.
“All terminations resulting from the recent government transition are complete,” said government spokesperson Jen Holmwood. “However, the Public Service Agency continues to finalize severances with individuals resulting from these terminations.”
The NDP government’s termination bill now exceeds the cost in 2001 when the B.C. Liberals swept to power. The Liberals spent $9 million, which adjusted for inflation, is roughly $12 million, compared to the NDP’s $13.6 million.
The NDP severances also include 15 administrative or support staff, 11 deputy ministers or associate deputy ministers and two public servants (government employees not politically appointed by cabinet).