November Subscription Drive


Graham Steele writes:

I’ve subscribed to the Halifax Examiner since it started for one simple reason: Halifax needs it.

Somebody has to watch.

I’ve been there. I know. In the back rooms of government, it was the reporters and columnists we cared about.

It scares me to think what would happen if there was nobody to watch.

Provincially, the backbenchers want too badly to be in Cabinet; the opposition wants too badly to be the government. Municipally, there is no opposition. They pretend to watch but they don’t really. The reporters do their best but holy smokes they’re stretched thinly.

Enter the Halifax Examiner. It’s news and it’s opinion. Sometimes it’s dead right and sometimes it’s dead wrong. Either way it gets me thinking. It’s eclectic too, which means I read about things that wouldn’t have occurred to me to read about.

Sometimes the Halifax Examiner is just Tim Bousquet. Tim deserves to eat, so that’s a reason to subscribe. He’s stretched thinly too, but he brings in other writers where and when he can. The more he can do that, the better.

Somebody has to watch, dammit. The more the better. And the Halifax Examiner watches wicked good.

Click here to purchase a subscription.


1. Halifax developer under criminal investigation

Navid Saberi. Photo: LinkedIn
Navid Saberi. Photo: LinkedIn

Reporter Chris Lambie reveals that Halifax developer Navid Saberi is under investigation by Revenue Canada’s Criminal Investigations Division for failure to report income and sales taxes related to properties he sold in Hammonds Plains.

Click here to read “Halifax developer under criminal investigation.”

This article is behind the Examiner’s paywall and so available only to paid subscribers. Click here to purchase a subscription.

2. E-gambling scandal

It annoys me to no end that gambling has been dubbed “gaming” in order to pretend that it’s just a lark and isn’t about addictions and broken homes and spent lives. Sure, some people can drop a few coins in a VLT or take a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Vegas and that’s the end of it, but if a casino or a bar or a province wants to make real money from the machines or the lottos, they need to entrap the weak of will who will inevitably overspend. That’s just a fact. So let’s cut the “gaming” nonsense, eh? It’s gambling.

Anyway, Teresa Wright, reporting for the Charlottetown Guardian, continues to look at PEI’s E-gambling scandal, noting that provincial Auditor General Jane MacAdam “does not name individuals or private companies in her reports, but she will name names if requested by the Public Accounts committee.” And MLAs at Public Accounts did just that:

As a result, MacAdam has confirmed the names of two senior government officials she found were in apparent conflicts of interest:

• Chris LeClair, former chief of staff to former premier Robert Ghiz

• Melissa MacEachern, a former deputy minister of both the Tourism Department and Innovation and Advanced Learning.

LeClair’s conflict arose when his wife purchased shares in a shell company in 2011 called RevTech that was going to be acquired in a reverse takeover by CMT – a company working with government to establish e-gaming in P.E.I., thanks to help from LeClair.

MacAdam says LeClair’s wife’s investment “creates the perception of a conflict.”

As for MacEachern, the auditor general found she gave preferential treatment to CMT and its affiliate company, Simplex, in two other programs explored by the government linked to e-gaming – a financial services platform for P.E.I. (which proposed to support e-gaming) and a tourism loyalty card program. 

It turns out that the lure of free and easy money corrupts not just the gambler, but also the house.

Chris LeClair
Chris LeClair

Incidentally, this summer LeClair was sentenced to three days in jail and fined $1,000 for driving while drunk. That would be neither here nor there, except for the remarkable claim by Rob McEachern:

Drunk every day while he worked for Premier Ghiz, former Deputy Minister to Premier and Strategy Expert at McInnes Cooper, Chris LeClair finally got ‘busted’ for drunk driving last night.


LeClair was famous for spending thousands while he dined and drank every day at Murphy Group slop joints on prepaid cards somebody gave him while in the Premiers Office. [I expect that] thousands of dollars of Murphy Group Gift Cards are ‘somewhere’ in the unaccounted 950,000 dollars the E Gaming Committee and McInnes Cooper spent.

PEI’s turning out to be a lot of fun. I’m just waiting patiently for the inevitable scandal that will soon engulf Charlottetown’s city hall.

3. Teachers

#NSTUPrez @lsdoucet has requested @KellyReganNS to appoint a mediator for current dispute between 9,300 public school #NSTUMembers and Govt

— NS Teachers Union (@NSTeachersUnion) November 3, 2016

“The union representing Nova Scotia’s public school teachers took the next step in an increasingly fractious contract dispute Thursday, asking the provincial labour minister to appoint a mediator in an effort to stave off job action early next month,” reports the Canadian Press:

The Nova Scotia Teachers Union announced via Twitter late in the day that president Liette Doucet had asked Labour Minister Kelly Regan to appoint a mediator to handle the dispute.

There was no immediate response from the government.

The union’s request came shortly after Premier Stephen McNeil announced the launch of a government advertising campaign to explain its position in the simmering impasse.

McNeil said the campaign will include a series of Liberal party-funded and government-funded ads, saying that he had personally voiced a party ad the day before.

The party ads are television and Facebook videos that are scheduled to run sometime next week.

Here’s the first ad:

YouTube video

Boy, does that hit the wrong note. Note to Liberals: when discussing education you need a nice soft, touchy-feely voiceover, not some deep throated guy who sounds like a mafia fixer threatening to kneecap you if you don’t pay for the protection insurance.

Meanwhile, a Facebook group has been formed in support of teachers. Nova Scotia Parents for Teachers explains:

By the end of November 2016, Nova Scotia may experience the first-ever work stoppage of public school teachers in our history. Ask yourself: Why would a group of 9,000 teachers, never known for militancy, vote not once, but twice (the second time by 70 per cent) to reject a bargaining settlement with the province? And why would they do that in spite of their union’s own recommendation? Note that they voted 96 per cent for strike action. Because they’re frustrated and angry, that’s why.

Reason one: The conditions of teaching have become more difficult. Class size, class composition, and non-teaching duties have all changed, making greater demands on teachers. It’s not easy caring for and educating our children. Add to this the slap in the face of government demanding a cut of 4 per cent in real wages, not to mention the elimination of long-service awards, and we have the perfect recipe for industrial conflict.

Reason two: The Supreme Court of Canada has given Charter protection to the right to bargain collectively and the right to strike. Governments can remove the right to strike ONLY if they substitute binding, unfettered third-party arbitration. But the government wants neither a strike nor arbitration. The provincial government has dictated an ultimatum to the teachers. And the teachers are pushing back.

Reason three: Teachers’ working conditions are our children’s (and grandchildren’s) learning conditions. For years now, governments in Nova Scotia, Canada and North America have been disparaging teachers and other valuable public workers in order to lower taxes to the wealthy and devalue public programs for the rest of us.

We are parents and grandparents of children in the public school system. A work stoppage will certainly inconvenience us. But “business as usual” already hurts us and cannot be tolerated. And we are willing to shoulder the aggravation to help our teachers. Collective bargaining is a fundamental right and is a price we pay for living in a democratic society.

The group is administered by Saint Mary’s business prof Larry Haiven. As of this morning, the group had 2,909 members.

4. Ports, super and otherwise

The superport of Melford, which will never exist.
The superport of Melford, which will never exist.

“Nova Scotia should focus on promoting the port of Halifax rather than proposed container facilities in the strait of Canso and Sydney, markets where new ports are unlikely to be viable, says a study prepared for the province,” reports Michael Tutton for the Canadian Press:

The $80,000 report paid for by ACOA and Nova Scotia’s Department of Transportation considers private-sector proposals for container ports at the Melford terminal at the Strait of Canso and the Novaporte development at the Port of Sydney, as well as the Port of Halifax’s long-term struggles to improve its fortunes.

The document by CPCS consultants, dated June of this year, says arguments that the proposed ports would have lower costs depend on attracting container traffic and it questions the likelihood of that occurring due in part to their distance from major markets.

ACOA paid $80,000 for that? Jeebus on a stick, they could have gotten the same advice if they had instead purchased a Halifax Examiner subscription for just 100 bucks a year, and they would’ve gotten a free T-shirt besides. As I’ve said repeatedly:

No shipper wants to use the North American port that is closest to Europe. That makes no sense at all.

Think about it. You are the manager of a German manufacturing firm, and you want to export to North America. You’re not going to sell many widgets in Canso or in Eastport. Instead, your primary market is going to be places like New York City, or Chicago, where there are millions of people and lots of industry to buy your widgets.

So how do you get your widgets to Chicago? Expensive and light stuff, you can fly directly there. Everything else has two legs: one by sea, and one by land.

The sea part of the voyage is relatively inexpensive. You can stack a gazillion of your widgets in the new post-Panamax ships. A small, underpaid crew from the Philippines steering a ship flying the flag of a lightly regulated country like Liberia doesn’t cost much.

The land part of the journey, however, is expensive. You’ve got to divide up your gigantic cargo and divvy it into a thousand trucks, each driven by a highly paid (relative to the shiphands) driver, using lots of fuel to get to Chicago. Or, if you’re lucky, you can use rail, which, while cheaper than the trucks, is still much more expensive than the sea voyage, per unit transported per distance.

The guy sitting in Germany isn’t looking for the North American port closest to Germany, but rather the North American port closest to Chicago, or wherever his widgets are going. If that means a longer sea journey, the cost is more than made up for with the huge savings of a shorter land journey. I’m not sure why megaport boosters get this so wrong.

Remember when we kicked that old man out of his house so we could pursue our fantasy of a superport at Melford? Yeah, the superport will never exist, but we sure showed that old man who’s boss. Nova Scotia: where some random old man isn’t going to get in the way of our delusions.

Did I mention T-shirts? Buy a $100 annual subscription during our November subscription drive and you can be as fashionable as Hilary Beaumont:


It’d be great if a bunch of people in the ACOA offices were suddenly wearing Examiner T-shirts.


1. If only everyone were paid less, we’d all be rich

The anti-worker sentiment that pervades our society is perfectly expressed in this “Love the way we bitch” in The Coast:

The work needs to be done!

What the fuck makes you think you’re so special that you get to leave on time while everyone else in the finance dept stays 2 hours longer every day? You’re behind so when I asked you to stay until the work is done, you don’t tell your boss, “only if you pay me overtime…”! You and your co-workers are on salary and we don’t pay overtime. And I don’t know what world you live in, but most employers don’t pay overtime and it’s typical for salaried employees to work more than 40 hours a week. It’s our year end, so I asked you to come in on Saturday, you ask if you get an ‘in lieu of’ day off in the week! No, you’re behind, and we needed you to work that extra day! What the fuck is the point of getting you in on a Saturday to catch up when you’re just going to take a week day off??? Then you have the nerve to say no and that you’re not paid enough to be married to your job! You’re getting $30,000/year for fucks sake! Some employers pay their finance staff less than that, so you are lucky to work for us! You’re the most self entitled brat. Some staff work 12 hour workdays here and some take work home, and do they complain? No! It’s called having a good work ethic!! Get one, lazy ass! —Frustrated supervisor

How dare you expect to get paid for working!

Of course, $30,000 is a poverty wage.

2. Cranky letter of the day

To the Charlottetown Guardian:

All fields have their sacred cows; education is no exception and high school graduation may be the most sacred of all. By sacred, I mean something that is respected to the point that it cannot be questioned. Increasingly among the people I meet, the meaning, even the value, of a high school diploma is being called into question. To be clear, I’m talking about the value of the diploma and not the value of the education itself.

Graduation seems to apply all who complete 12 years of schooling regardless of grades or marks. Either position is defensible but the current fudging is not; the present practice is dishonest, to say the least.

The practice of using one piece of paper for two different purposes is confusing; why not issue two – one confirming what and where a person studied and the other confirming what was learned – in effect, one a credential and the other a qualification.

A qualification in a few areas would be useful – reading, writing and arithmetic, personal management skills and perhaps one or two others. Even better, would be to have the qualifications awarded by an independent body. That seems to work for apprenticeship, music, the International Baccalaureate Program and even in sports.

Also among our options, is that of establishing a qualification authority as has been done by most developed countries.

It’s time to restore meaning to high school graduation; let’s create an Island solution – and let’s do it soon.

Don Glendenning, Charlottetown


No public meetings.

On campus


Food Law (12:10pm, McInnes Room, 2nd Floor, Student Union Building) — Michael Roberts, from UCLA, will speak about, “Food Law and Policy: Past, Present, and Future.” Food!

Feminist Seminar Series (12:30pm, Room 2021, Marion McCain Building) — Alexandre Baril will speak on, “Cripping Trans* Studies and ‘Transing’ Disability Studies: Rethinking Crip and Trans* Politics.”

“Dynamic Droplets” (1:30pm, Chemistry Room 226) — Timothy M. Swager, from MIT, will speak. Food! next door at 1:15 pm.

Inheritance Law (3:30pm, Room 1170, McCain Building) — Tim Stretton of Saint Mary’s University will speak on “Blackstone, Family Law and the Exclusion of the Half Blood in Inheritance.” No food, alas.

Saint Mary’s

Africa (12pm, McNally Main 227) — Joseph Mugore will speak on “Economic Governance: New Constraints on Africa Rising.”

Water and Food Security (12:30, Room 207, Burke Building) — Cathy Conrad will talk about “Enhancing Water and Food Security With a Community-based Approach: Examples from Nigeria and The Gambia, West Africa.”

In the harbour

5:30am: MSC Cristiana, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from New York
7:15am: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, arrives at Pier 36 from Saint-Pierre
10:30am: MSC Cristiana, car carrier, sails from Autoport for sea
11:30am: Macao Strait, container ship, sails from Pier 42 for Mariel, Cuba
4:30pm: Nolhanava, ro-ro cargo, sails from Pier 36 for Saint-Pierre
6pm: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, sails from Pier 41 for St. John’s
11pm: Atlantic Huron, bulker, arrives at National Gypsum from Charlottetown
11pm: Colorado Highway, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Emden, Germany

Over at the Cape Breton Spectator, Mary Campbell has a couple of interesting articles related to cruise ships.

Sarah Tessier Powell
Sarah Tessier Powell

In the first, she recounts the case of Sarah Tessier Powell, the 70-year-old from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who in 2012 simply disappeared from the Veendam somewhere between Quebec and Halifax.

As CTV reported at the time:

Powell is travelling alone and police believe she may have slipped past security check points and gotten off in either Charlottetown or Sydney.

They have no idea when exactly she left the ship or where she is now.

Staff on board the ship noticed Powell was missing Oct. 4 just before the boat docked in Halifax.  

“There were some items on board the ship in her cabin, but there were some items missing, leaving us to believe she left on her own accord with no intention of coming back to the ship,” says [Halifax police] Const. Pierre Bourdages.

“We do not believe she would have fallen off the ship or met with foul play on the ship.”

That is almost unbelievable. Campbell points us to lawyer Jim Walker’s blog:

How on earth is that possible? Passenger gangways are supposed to be heavily monitored by security with each passenger’s sea pass card scanned and the gangways always covered by closed circuit television cameras.

Cruise ships can easily trace the passenger’s onboard purchases and use of their cabins by ‘lock-link’ reports which document the opening of cabin doors. When did the passenger last use her card to either charge a purchase or open her cabin door? The shipboard security should easily be able to know when there was any documented activity by Ms. Powell on the ship.

And why do the police think she left the ship? If she did, then there should be CCTV film documenting her exit even if the gangway security guards were asleep at the wheel.

Campbell this week followed up on the case, calling the Halifax PD, which told her to talk to the Quebec PD. She dutifully called, and:

Sûreté du Québec spokesperson Mélanie Dumaresq phoned me almost immediately and said, “The lady has not been found. The case is still open. We cannot comment on a case that is still under investigation.”

In her second article, Campbell looks at the horrid environmental record of the cruise ships stopping in Sydney.


I had the great pleasure of interviewing Senator-designate Wanda Thomas Bernard yesterday for Examineradio, which will be published late this afternoon.

Lots of other new stuff is also going on the website today. Check back.

Tim Bousquet is the editor and publisher of the Halifax Examiner. Twitter @Tim_Bousquet Mastodon

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  1. Enjoyed Steele’s reasons for subscribing to the Examiner. The Examiner and the Contrarian, Donham, are the true fifth estate in this province. As Graham points out, where would we be as a public without them. The mainstream media is the fourth estate and it is OWNED. The problem is that this ownership takes too many privileges.

  2. Can’t save up labour
    Labour is always carried to market by those who have nothing else to keep or to sell, and who, therefore, must part with it immediately. … The labour which I might perform this week, if I, in imitation of the capitalist, refuse to part with it because an inadequate price is offered me for it, can I bottle it? Can I lay it up in salt? … These two distinctions between the nature of labour and capital (that labour is always sold by the poor, and always bought by the rich; and that labour cannot by any possibility be stored, but must be every instant sold or every instant lost) are sufficient to convince me that labour and capital can never with justice be subjected to the same laws.
    • Extract from Hand-Loom Weavers Petitions, 1834
    As quoted in The Making of the English Working Class by E.P. Thompson

  3. Regarding the teacher’s strike, I do not have much sympathy for teachers. Yes, I know, think of the children (!), but I think I’m on the younger end of the commentariat and my experiences with Nova Scotia public schools weren’t exactly positive and the teachers were a big part of that.

    I think that some sort of private-school voucher system that would let more than just the rich send their children to private schools is necessary at this point to challenge the utter mediocrity of the teachers and administrators that have lodged themselves in the public school system. School shouldn’t necessarily be expensive: Nova Scotia spends roughly the Canadian average, $7000 per year per student, alternatively $140,000 dollars for a class of 20 students.

    Halifax Grammar charges vary by student age, but on average it’s about $15,000 per year.

    I would say that 75% of my teachers were women, (this was more like 100% in lower grades, but I wasn’t in Halifax then), 75% of them were middle-aged (not young or old) and 75% of them were utterly mediocre.

    None of the old ones were obviously lazy, except one, and neither were any of the young ones. Men and women were equally guilty of mediocrity. My theory is that people of a certain age who stand no chance of being fired unless they well and truly fuck up establish a mediocracy, where threats to the gravy train are the main concern and doing their jobs is somewhere on the to-do list. There is also the lowest-common-denominator aspect of the first 9-10 grades, with more academically gifted students having the choice of IB or advanced classes. Presumably those kids were always smart.

    For the $7000 a year it costs to educate students, you could hire someone at $75,000 a year, and have nearly that much left over for facilities & equipment with a class size of twenty.

    It does seem, well, typical of our society that a two-tiered system that elevates the top 5% or so at the expense of the 95% is sold as some sort of egalitarian thing, when in reality it isn’t.

    1. Agreed. I remember a few negotiations back when the PCs said they need to be able to metric teachers so they can filter out the bad ones, the NSTU came back and said “what’s a bad teacher? You don’t know, you don’t teach!” (tired, like I said). Then they said there is no such thing as a “bad” teacher. If their are bad Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, there HAS to be bad teachers. But the only way to really get fired once you get your time in the Union is to rape a student, which I think is a high bar.

      That being said, private-school voucher system is a seriously bad idea. We are focusing on improving the public system. Given that most parts of the province outside of the HRM do NOT have private schools, it is just unpractical and frankly a waste of resources to even consider it. Get the kids learning the new math, maybe have a primer for parents who seem upset about it, reduce homework and work out the differences they have contractually (and get rid of that GD service award that NO OTHER PROFESSION GETS) and I honestly think we can turn around the public system. It seems like homework and data collection are the solutions to poor performance when it really is down to lesson plans and parent buy-in. Not parent dictation, which happens a lot. If your kid is failing in school, it is as likely the parents fault as the teacher if not more. Parents seem too willing to blame teachers, but conversely, teachers are unwilling to accept any criticism from non-teachers or allow themselves to be measured for performance, two things a real profession HAVE to do. If you want to be treated like a profession, act like one.

      1. I’m not sure. At this point probably 50% of teachers need to be put on notice and fired if they don’t get their acts together. It is hard to judge teachers though – how do you compare a teacher in Bedford who gets students from (mostly) stable, wealthy and engaged families with one who teaches students in a poorer area with all the social problems that come with that?

        There is also the issue of ideological freedom.

        If I had kids I would not want them going to public school.

  4. Hi, Tim. We subscribe for $10/month, and I don’t want to change to an annual payment. I do like your T-shirt, so can I buy one?

    1. Hi Bill, please email Iris at iris@halifaxexaminer, and she’ll take care of you. Thanks much!

      1. I’m interested in some Examiner swag that I can drink out of. Do you have an Examiner Mug, water bottle or wine decanter?

        I would also buy Examiner Wine or Moonshine. Just throwing that out there…

  5. Being on “salary” does not exempt someone from their right to overtime pay. Exempt employees include managers, supervisors, and professionals. Per Stewart McKelvey:

    …Exempt employee include: “duly qualified practitioners or students while engaged in training for” architecture, dentistry, law, medicine, chiropody, professional engineering, public or chartered accounting, psychology, surveying; persons holding supervisory or management positions, or who are employed in a confidential capacity; information technology professionals; etc…

    So, unless this poor subject of the letter is a CPA or working towards the designation, they should be getting paid for every hour of work, including time and a half for anything over 48 hours in a week.

    Also, “a day off in lieu” is not a thing. If you work the overtime in a particular week, your employer must pay the time and a half, not give you straight time off the next week.

    1. This is not true. My contract explicitly states they can give me time off in lieu of wages for work done overtime and it was vetted through a major Union, whom I assume would have lawyers call out illegal activity. I did work somewhere that paid overtime to salaried employees but out of all the places where I had salary, it was the only one who did so without condition. It is unplanned required work that gets salaried employees overtime, from my experience. The particular letter stated it was known that work would be heavy that week.

  6. Man, I feel today’s edition lacked serious context for a few of the articles.

    I love the line: “Why would a group of 9,000 teachers, never known for militancy, vote not once, but twice (the second time by 70 per cent) to reject a bargaining settlement with the province?”

    That is total and utter bullshit to the nth degree. Everytime, EVERYTIME their contract is up, Teacher’s threatened to strike. Everytime. I remember at least 5 close calls, many of which where when I was in school and they were making plans for a strike and what to do in the event of one. Saying “never known for militancy” simply ignores the last three decades completely and it false. It is like Donald Trump level false.

    But the second part is a very good question. Why WOULD a group reject a twice negotiated contract with their Union, that their Union recommended be accepted, if their Union management was not abysmal. It is the only thing that would make sense, if it happened ONCE. But TWICE? It is a f**king disaster of a bargaining committee. Did the NSTU fire them? Did they have a vote of confidence. Yes, they did. They supported the negotiation team that secured and approved two massively rejected contracts. By over 95%. The NSTU is a joke of a Union and the root cause of most if not all of the problems teachers are facing, if anyone remembered any of the previous contract negotiations it would be abandonedly obvious that they are. But everyone has Etch-a-sketch memories on these types of issues and Stephen McNeil looks like an aging vampyre, so he most be evil.

    Also, salaries employeed are salaried explicitly so that they don’t get overtime and may have to work extra hours some days. They usually get off-setting perks. And 30k a year is pretty decent for a financial job, especially if you are just starting off. I see it as valid criticism, having been on all side of the argument. Note: 30k is 50% greater than min. wage, and roughly 15 dollars an hour.

        1. Yes, you’re correct. And the minimum wage in Halifax is also a poverty wage.

          I made $30,000/year in finance when I first moved to Halifax in 2007. My apartment was $740/month. That same apartment is now almost $1000. The fact that those positions–9 years later—STILL pay $30,000 is a prime example of what is wrong here.

          Regarding salary, for workers, labour is our commodity. Companies rent out our time and labour in exchange for money. And it’s our time and labour that help generate profit. (You can’t sell a product if no one is there to produce it, package it, put it on the shelf, and help customers purchase it.) And just as companies would detest having to give product away for free, so do workers detest having to give labour away for free.

          1. I should have responded to Kirk, not Tim, as I meant to refute his comment that $30k is 50% better than minimum wage.

          2. As I stated in another post, usually positions of this nature have little work to do, day to day, and it is year end and tax year end that are the busy times. They usually hire on salary on the idea that there is light work-load most of the time and when it gets heavy, you get working. If they paid hourly, he could have spent weeks doing nothing until getting called in.

            Also, I never stated I felt it was enough so much as I know the reality, right now, is that is a decent job compared to either nothing or min. wage. I am actually a socialist and believe we should have a guaranteed income program. And I agree, I think minimum wage should actually mean someone could clear the average of what Canadians make now (around 40kish plus or minus 4 depending on the province). But it isn’t. And many many people have to survive on an hourly min. wage.

            If this were an argument over what it should be, I will sign whatever petition you want. But my comment was directed at the attitude, as I have seen it myself, of young workers not understanding why they have salary. If they paid him hourly for when they needed the work done, he may get 10k a year, tops. But by hiring him on salary, I 100% tell you the expectation would be you get light work months and heavy work months. And I had to deal with the fallout of people not respecting that but having to do the work they wouldn’t. Not saying it right or fair, but someone is picking up his slack that he totally would have been aware of. And I think failing to recognize that or criticising someone for calling out poor work ethic because you think that he should be paid more doesn’t address the issue of poor work ethic and dismisses reality of the world we live in, not the one we want to.

            I live in a world with pot-holes and mostly min. wage workers, not flowers on telephone poles and 6 figure jobs. The reality is that guy had a decent gig for what is available and a known work-load scheme that was very likely explained to him but effed off leaving his co-workers holding the bag. And it sucks when it happens to you. (lessons from a LOT of experience).

    1. “Also, salaries employeed are salaried explicitly so that they don’t get overtime and may have to work extra hours some days. They usually get off-setting perks.”

      Maybe they used to get offsetting perks (like days off in slow times or PD opportunities), but those things no longer exist. Financial departments are seriously under resourced, the demands grow every day, and if you worked all the overtime in the world, the work still wouldn’t get done. Also, it’s been proven over and over again that overtime DECREASES productivity, especially in jobs where people have to think about what they’re doing. Maybe letting them work less, but with a clear head, would actually garner benefits. Just because it’s always been done that way doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly stupid.

      I know, because I’ve been there. Thank heavens I am off that particular treadmill…

    2. You’re bang on with most of that. The whole $30k Coast letter isn’t worth the time. The whole Bitch section is bogus baiting crap.

      Whoa if it’s true, or something stunned like that……

      1. I agree it isn’t worth the time, frankly I think the boss is uptight. But I am starting to question who these people who comment on here talk to and know. As someone who works for living and is in the real world on a regular basis, I know a dozen people who would take a 30k a year job on salary tomorrow. When I left school, I made 18 (back when min wages was under 8/hour). It just seemed the comment made it out like this guy was flipping burgers and the manager was unreasonable. I bet 100% that that kid, and I assume it is a kid from experience, was told that he would have to do some overtime on those days to balance out the work load in the year. Finance departments have two serious busy times, year end and tax year end. So it seems reasonable for me, as a former finance office worker, for a manager to be upset that someone would take that attitude. By the way, when I did that type of work, I got 12.50/hour on salary (26k) about 10 years ago. At two percent interest, that turns out roughly to 30k a year. So I basically did exactly what that kid did for the same rate. And NO ONE KNOWS what perks or benefits are there, but surely there would be some and it would be better than being hourly. If you are hourly in finance, they only need you like 4 hours a day, outside of the two peak times. I think the manager is a dick, but I think that it is a half-descent starting job, especially given the qualifications are usually nothing more than experience/BA in ball-scratching with a minor in Volka.

        That being said, min wage at 10.70= 22256. 30000 – 22256 = 7744 = 35% more. But with the benefits of a salary employee and the fact that 30k was probably a rough number, most likely in the band of 26 to 34, I think 50% over min. wage is fairly accurate way to think of it. Like I said, I still know dozens of starting off and 10 years in workers who are trying to get that much. Mind you, I also hang around with average people as well as politicians, so I know there are two completely different worlds when it comes to understanding appropriate salaries.

        But, again, I think this manager is a bit uptight about it but I think the employee was probably dicking around too (again, from massive amounts of experience in this type of field doing this type of work).