Petition's purpose

  • June 21, 2012

Source: The Province
Byline: Kerry Simmons

In his June 17 column, "Judges' demand for more pay seems a tad dishonourable," Michael Smyth misstates the purpose of the petition brought by the Provincial Court Judges Association.

The purpose of the petition is to enforce the recommendations of the independent Judicial Compensation Commission, which included representatives appointed by the government.

The commission's recommendations are for no pay increase for 2011-12 or 2012-13 and for a cumulative cost of living increase in 2013-14.

The commission rejected some of the requests for pension and benefit improvements, while accepting others.

In doing so, the independent commission heard the government's views on what was affordable for the taxpayer and took that into account in making its recommendations.

The government declined to implement the recommendations. By law, the judges can't negotiate - they must accept the outcome of the commission process and that is what they have done by seeking only to enforce those recommendations.

The question that the lawsuit seeks to have answered is whether the government is free to ignore the recommendations.

Kerry Simmons, vice-president, B.C. branch, Canadian Bar Association