he problem is not the nurses; the problem is AHS Executive, Management and poor management of expenses. AHS 2018-19 Alberta Health Services Annual Report actuals show that they have spent $8.322 Billion on Salaries & Benefits or 41% of their Budget. $2.762 Billion on Contracts with Health Service Providers or 14% of their Budget. $1.381 Billion on other Contracted Services or .07% of their Budget and an additional $18 Million on Contracts under the Health Care Protection Act. This totals to 61% of their entire 2018-2019 Budget.
AHS President and CEO Dr Verna Yiu made $676,000 plus an additional $49,000 in supplemental Pension Plan & Retirement Plan in 2018. 2019 numbers are not released yet obviously. To put that into prospective, The Prime Minister of Canada makes $357,800. A Member of Parliament (MP) makes $172,700. The Alberta Premier makes $186,170 after his 10% reduction (was $206,856). An Alberta MLA makes $120,931 after their 5% reduction (was $127,296).
17 of the top AHS Executives made $6,085,000 plus an additionally $366,000 for their Executive Supplemental Pension Plan and Supplemental Retirement Plan. There are 11 people that sit on the AHS Board that receive a total of $311,000 additionally to their normal incomes. That number is to rise to $334,000 for 2019. Then there is 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. Compare that once again to what the Prime Minister of Canada, the Alberta Premier, Canadian MP’s and Alberta MLA’s make stated above. There are many claims regarding the ridiculous ratio of employee to managers. Some say 1 manager for every 5 employees and we’ve recently heard 1 to 3. Plus those managers have managers.
So now look at the proposal from the Province. The Province is suggesting a 2.8% reduction in wage. That equals to savings of $233,016,000/year or $932,064,000/4 years in just Salaries. Remember this is just AHS, not the entire Public Sector. If the average Nurse makes $75,000 Base (RN $68,700-$98,780 base salary), that means that savings equal the cost of 3,106 RN’s or even more if you include LPN. Alberta Nurses work an average of 26% Overtime as it stands right now. Of course Overtime means more costs to the overhead which doesn’t make sense on why not hire more staff. So why is AHS telling the Nurse’s Union that there will be potential layoffs? Of course it goes to the fact they are negotiating a new deal agreement between AHS, the United Nurses of Alberta, the Health Services Association of Alberta and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees. The Nurses are just a bargaining pawn for AHS and that’s really unfortunately for them.
The Unions are asking for 7-8% increase. Let’s do the math; an 8% increase would equal an additional $665,760,000/year or $2.663 Billion/4 years in Salaries just to Health Care, not counting the other Public Sectors. Some Union agreements have clauses written in them that if 1 other Union gets a raise, they get a raise automatically to match as well. So imagine the ripple effect that this could cause for the Alberta Government and Alberta Taxpayers!!
Now remember that Alberta’s escalating deficits created a serious financial situation and a debt burden that has reached $62.7 billion for taxpayers and future generations of taxpayers. Debt servicing costs at the end of last year approached $2 billion (3% of Provincial Budget). Alberta spent more on interest payments to Banks & Bond Holders than on 17 out of 21 Government Ministries, including Justice and Solicitor General, Children’s Services, and Seniors and Housing.
See this isn’t about Nurses or Front Line workers and how important they are. AHS is deflecting the focus from their Executive and their inability to run efficiently. It’s about saving money in the next few years to get rid of the ridiculous $2 Billion going to Banks and Bond Holders when it should be going to Albertans and their needs!!!!! I for one cannot wait till the Ernst & Young comprehensive review is released in 2020. I can’t wait to hear what AHS has to say to defend their actions, out of control spending, mismanagement of expenses and their poor ability to run efficiently.