Monday, April 30, 2007

Danny said
" They’re special staff." I often hear the word "special" in my line of work. Home Support Workers in NL sometimes use it to describe their clients. I guess over the years most of us have heard the term used when describing the mentally challenged. The Premier describes himself as very demanding and i can describe a few of my clients as such. The Premier describes himself as a workaholic and i have worked with clients in a workplace who could be described the same! Your probably thinking after a few lines im comparing the premier to my clients but your wrong. You see the way i look at it Danny Williams will never be special in my books. The special people i know and work with can show love and compassion and on the end of a day think the Home Support worker who help them through life are a bit special. Were proud to be special like our clients, but i doubt if we'll see a pay raise in the annual range of 8.1 - 16.8 percent like Danny's special people.

Premier’s staffers get big pay hikes
ROB ANTLE The Telegram he province’s wage-restraint program ends at the premier’s office this year. Six senior staffers received salary increases of between 8.1 and 16.8 per cent in 2007, according to details tabled with Thursday’s raft of budget documents. But Premier Danny Williams says the wage hikes were necessary to recognize both the amount, and quality, of their work. Another staffer in the premier’s office had previously been reclassified into a newly created, top-level job. “These are the kind of salaries I have to pay in order to keep these people,” Williams said Friday. The province’s unionized workers, in contrast, will get a three-per-cent wage hike this year. That follows two years of wage freezes in 2004 and 2005, and a three-per-cent hike in 2006. The Williams government legislated a four-year package on most public servants in 2004, ending a bitter month-long strike. The province’s nurses and teachers later accepted similar deals. Provincial government managers will also get the same three-per-cent raise this year, Williams said. He defended the additional cash for his senior staff, saying the bigger amounts reflect the actual responsibility of the positions. “I’m very demanding,” Williams said. “I’m not easy to work for, in the sense that I’m a workaholic. So you can’t pay people enough to work for me, I suppose, for want of a better term.” He noted that the staff are political appointments, with little job security. But the premier acknowledged that public servants — who got just a six-per-cent hike over four years — may not greet with enthusiasm the news that his key staff got up to 16.8 per cent raises in one year. “I know. And they can make that argument, then, if that’s the case. But these are political staffers. They’re special staff. They’re a staff that are my senior advisers, that are running a $5-billion corporation, from my perspective.” Most contracts between the province and its unionized workers elapse in 2008. Williams pledged that workers will get raises this time around. “You can quote me on that, and take that to the bank.” He acknowledged those raises would not be in the annual range of 8.1 to 16.8 per cent, however.
Hot Air Balloon Crossing Planned
April 30, 2007

Another Atlantic crossing could begin from St.John's this summer, this one, a hot air balloon. British adventurer David Hempleman-Adams has a hot-air balloon team assembled, ready to cross the Atlantic. They want to do it from St.John's this summer. Last year, they used Calgary as a base to set an altitude record in a hot air balloon. One of his crew, Nigel Mitchell, says Adams is one of the world's greatest living adventurers and was the first person to achieve the Explorers Grand Slam, having climbed the highest mountains on each of the world's seven continents, including Mount Everest. The team has written St.John's City Council asking for information on the city.

( Maybe a launch from the eight floor window of the Confederation Building would give Adams the necessary lift with the hot air he needs )

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thanks Tom, you gave a 14% wage increase to help the minimum wage go up to $8.00 per hour in NL but no sign of giving an increase to thousands of home support workers whose wages are mostly $8.04 per hour.That slap in the face is of course compensated for by giving us free Death Certificates.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

From the VOCM News SITE:

Ontario Must Work With Metis on Lower Chruchill Project; Montague
April 17, 2007

Labrador Metis Nation President Chris Montague says Ontario will see no power from the Lower Churchill without the involvement of the Labrador Metis. Montague issued the warning at the Opportunities to Develop Renewable Energy Projects with First Nations, Industry, and Government Partnerships conference in Toronto yesterday. He told the delegates Labrador Metis have to be "meaningfully included" in the project before it can proceed. Montague also spoke about what he called Premier Danny Williams' failure to honour commitments to the Metis in Labrador. He says Williams promised to honour harvesting rights and to work with the group to promote communities and culture. Montague also provided an overview of the proposed Height of Land Wind Park. The $2.5 billion proposed project involves a partnership between the LMN and Ventus Energy.

Recently Tom Rideout said Newfoundland and Labrador cannot deal with Labrador Metis Nation claims until Ottawa moves forward first. Im sure the majority of us here in the province don't really know what to make of it all at times. Most don't really know if the Metis have a legitimate claim on the lands or not. I do think in the pass the NL Government have negotiated with them on forestry and harvesting agreements along with certain rights to hunt on Crown lands.I guess if that was the case,they must of been recognized as a group with legitimate claims to the land in order to do that. Maybe if the province pushed the issue then Ottawa would step in and finally give them the status they want. Who would gain from this? We all would!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Finally a little Ray of light but don't forget a lot of us are still not unionized.

NAPE Presidential Candidate Seeks Help for Home Care Workers
April 10, 2007

A candidate in the running for the presidency of NAPE has some suggestions for government as they put the finishing touches on the provincial budget. Chris Henley told VOCM Back Talk with Bill Rowe, home care workers need some attention. Henley says they are the lowest paid group of unionized workers in the province, making barely above minimum wage.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bill Matthews Calls It Quits
April 3, 2007
from the VOCM website:

After 25 years in public life, Random-Burin-St. George's MP Bill Matthews is calling it quits. Matthews announced this morning he will not be seeking a seat in the next next federal election. Matthews was first elected in 1982 in the provincial district of Grand Bank, and later switched to federal politics in 1997. He said following eight elections it's time for him to leave politics. Conservative MP Norm Doyle has already announced he won't be running again either.

Cynthia Downey who ran against Mr.Matthews in the lastFederal election has recently withdrawn from the Conservative nomination process here in the riding. Ms. Downey said she could not ask the people of her riding to support the Harper Government after he failed to live up to his promises on NL equalization. Maybe Cynthia Downey should seek the Liberal nomination here in Random-Burin-St. Georges.

Monday, April 02, 2007

New Provincial Motor vehicle plate.

The provincial government unveiled Newfoundland and Labrador's new motor vehicle license plates today. Government Services Minister Dianne Whalen and Business Minister Kevin O'Brien launched the new plates, featuring a design done by our own premier. The province's new brand signature since March 19/2007. The Premier said the new plates can be purchased for twenty bucks far less expensive than a vote bought in Quebec or Ontario.