EDMONTON, AB (June 13, 2013): Eleventh-hour hysterics by the PC government on the issue of bonus pay to AHS executives have thrown our health care system into chaos after years of inaction on the file. To make matters worse, Health Minister Fred Horne has indicated that he doesn’t believe he’ll be able to recover AHS bonuses paid out for this year calling it a, “legal mess,” on the Rutherford Show. It is not at all clear that this is actually correct. Here are the facts:
- Despite Horne saying he doesn’t believe the bonus pay for this year can be recovered, now former AHS chair Stephen Lockwood said today that the bonuses had not been paid out at the point and time the board was dismissed. Further, the compensation package for AHS executives indicates that the “Pay at Risk” component will not be paid out until 30 days after a review from the Auditor General of Alberta on AHS’s financial statements for the prior fiscal year.
“We’re lucky to have the great health professionals we do in this province holding the entire system together while the PC government continues its legacy of mismanagement at the top. It’s clear that this issue did not come up overnight and it certainly did not catch the government off guard,” Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth said. “Despite the mess the government has made of this file, we know that the bonuses have not yet been paid out, and the Minister needs to be assure Albertans that he will stop the bonuses from being paid out.” Background:
- The current AHS bonuses have been in place since its inception, whether it was former CEO Stephen Duckett receiving a $144,000 top-up in 2010, or just last year under where Health Minister Fred Horne defended the half a million dollars for AHS executives by stating, “I know [the bonuses] are a concern for some, but I just kind of ask people to look at the big picture.”
- In March 2013 this year, Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth again warned Health Minister Horne that bonuses for 2012/13 were going to be pushed through and Horne responded in media reports by signing off on the AHS decision saying, “I don’t think anybody would want me or a colleague to interfere with the terms of their employment they’ve agreed to.”