Newspaper article The Canadian Press

CEO, President of B.C. Health Authority Resigns over 118 Pay Hikes

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

CEO, President of B.C. Health Authority Resigns over 118 Pay Hikes

Article excerpt

Health authority CEO resigns over pay hikes

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VANCOUVER - The woman who has led one of British Columbia's six health authorities for the past decade has resigned because she approved 118 wage increases that contravened government policy, says the chairman of the board that employed her.

While five of the province's six health authorities serve geographic regions, the sixth is known as the Provincial Health Services Authority, and it runs BC Children's Hospital, BC Transplant and specialized services such as trauma and chest surgery.

Until Friday afternoon, Lynda Cranston had been the authority's first and only president and CEO.

Wynne Powell, who chairs the health-authority's board of directors, said Cranston told him Tuesday about the raises that would have cost an additional $621,000 annually, and then addressed board members Friday.

"She came into the board ... made the presentation and said 'I made a mistake. I should not have authorized these and I did, and I think I put the board in a very difficult position,'" said Powell.

Powell said Cranston acknowledged that she had exceeded a 2012 government order freezing pay hikes to public-sector managers and executives and then offered her resignation, which the board accepted.

The pay hikes took effect on May 17 -- three days after the Liberals won their majority government.

Powell said the offer by Cranston to resign was an "indication of her character," and that while her error was serious, it was one of very few she made during her long career of public service.

"This is one she understood was very difficult for the board, and being the consummate professional she (is) she acted in the appropriate manner," he said.

The announcement comes just days after Premier Christy Clark rescinded wage increases to top political staff, saying they sent the wrong message to the public and were not in step with a government determined to control spending. …

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