There were laws were being passed in the Legislature last week but unless you were unable to sleep you were likely not watching the proceedings live at 3 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 5.
Perhaps that is what the government wanted when it came to Bill 32, no reporters around at 3 a.m. and exhausted politicians going through the motions.
One of the big changes is that terminated employees will no longer go home with at a pay cheque. Employers now have 31 days to do this.
According to Alberta Hansard this is the time employers need to figure it all out. The opposition pointed out that anyone doing payroll does not need 31 days but employers will gladly keep that money in their bank accounts rather than letting the employee have it.
The problem with a bill like this is that is will not become apparent to workers until they are being terminated and discover the rules have changed.
Others still working will discover they will no longer get paid any extra for overtime.
Physicians were also a target as the relationship between the health minister and Alberta’s doctors deteriorates further.
Health Minister Tyler Shandro correctly pointed out that doctors are in fact private vendors of health services. The difference is that they bill the government for the services provided rather than the patient.
That has not stopped Shandro from arranging for the fees that doctors bill for to be publicly published on the province’s sunshine list of government employees who earn more than a certain amount. You really can’t compare the two though.
Government employees are paid a salary, paid vacation, luxury medical benefits and a pension.
Doctors on the other hand must pay rent or a mortgage on the building in which they practice, pay staff salaries, pay for equipment and furnishings in the consulting room.
They do not get any paid vacation, no pension and if they attend a conference they pay that fee and the cost of travel themselves.
All of those expenses need to be deducted before you could even start to compare their final take home pay with that of government employees.
There is a sense of spite that has crept into recent government actions rather than an agenda to truly make a difference and have government function optimally.
This editorial originated in the Medicine Hat News.