Crickets

It's been a week, and all we're hearing from the Yukon Hospital Corporation Board is crickets. We've been trying to find out how the Crown-owned corporation is going to handle the overpayment made to its board since last November.

It’s been a week, and all we’re hearing from the Yukon Hospital Corporation Board is crickets.

We’ve been trying to find out how the Crown-owned corporation is going to handle the overpayment made to its board since last November.

Sometime last year, the board decided to give itself a little raise.

Craig Tuton, the chair, is now making about $34,800 a year, up from $3,600 a year, based on a day’s work a month. Other board members are now making as much as $7,200 a year for one day’s work a month, up from $2,400.

By law, under some circumstances, the board is allowed to set its members’ pay.

For example, if there’s no order-in-council the board can step in for cabinet and figure out its honoraria. It has operated under these rules since 1993.

However, in November, cabinet set the chair’s pay at $300 per board meeting. Other board members were entitled to $200 per meeting.

According to the government, that was the deal.

But, apparently, the board didn’t like the deal. It continued to pay Tuton a rate of $600 per day with a $300-per-meeting prep time fee. Board members were paid $400 per meeting with a $200 per meeting prep time fee.

It’s a little like your boss setting your pay, and you countermanding the order and paying yourself almost 10 times more. Or three times more, depending on the position.

In most places, that would be a problem.

Here, cabinet corrected the problem earlier this month by simply rubber-stamping the higher pay the board had received. Tuton and the board are now entitled to make what they had already decided they were worth.

The problem, of course, is that they weren’t allowed to make that money from November until June. But were paid at the higher rate, anyway.

For a week, we have tried to get an explanation about why this happened, how long board members have been paid the higher rate and what, if anything, the board was going to do to reconcile the books.

In the past, Tuton and Joe MacGillivray have been gracious about media requests. But, on this issue, the openness has abruptly ended.

It is beyond odd – their silence is deafening.

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