The Alberta Federation of Labour revealed today that WCB President and CEO Mary Cameron received a 39% pay increase in 1999. Also, WCB sources inform the AFL that the Board of Directors approved another substantial pay increase for the year 2000.
In 1999, Cameron earned a total of $355,699. This is up from $256,663 in 1998, her first year as CEO of WCB.
"What message does it send to injured workers who are forced to go on welfare while awaiting just resolution of their claim to hear that the President made almost $400,000 last year?" asks AFL President Audrey Cormack. "It looks bad."
Cormack also says that WCB sources informed the AFL that the Board recently approved another pay increase for Cameron to an undisclosed amount. "When will all this generosity make its way down to injured workers?"
"It is a double standard," observes Cormack. "Injured worker benefits are capped at 90% of $48,600, yet there is apparently no ceiling for how high the CEO's salary can go."
Cormack believes the huge salary jump is just the latest indicator that the WCB has forgotten why it exists.
"At the moment, the WCB is an organization under a black cloud. Injured workers and employers have serious concerns about the operation of WCB in Alberta," says Audrey Cormack, President of the AFL. "The WCB has forgotten why they exist - to pay fair benefits to workers injured on the job."
Cormack says she does not begrudge the WCB President from earning a reasonable salary for their job, but adds that almost $400,000 is excessive. In 1997, former WCB CEO John Cowell earned $366,287, plus received a $580,294 severance package.
Cormack calls on Cameron to release the details of her contract with WCB, including any severance provisions and other perks.
"This is a publicly owned organization, and to that end, it should operate with complete openness to the people who run it - the people of Alberta." Cormack concludes.
For more information contact:
Audrey M. Cormack, President @ (780) 499-6530 (cell) 483-3021 (wk)