December 20, 2008


Some news for my people about the Squamish Nation,

Many people from my community, mostly Squamish Nation staff were shocked and irritated to learn about recent decisions by the Squamish Nation Band Council. To start things off, back in November, the Squamish Nation approved a 6% wage increase for all SN staff. This past Wednesday, they pasted another wage increase for the 12 Department Heads, and 17 Senior Managers within the Squamish Nation. The increases are on top of the original 6% which is set to take effect January 1st. The increases amount to another 12% for Department Heads, and another 6% for Senior Managers. This brings the total to 18% and 12%.

Then on Thursday, the two co-chair, Bill Williams, and Byron Joseph, made and "executive decision" and approved a $2000 "handshake" for all Department Heads on top of the previously mentioned raises.

Currently 10 out of 16 Councilors hold staff and councilor position. A few of these councilors' staff positions are Department Heads and of course the wage increase includes them. The SN employs nearly 500 people.

When looking at the financial statements, you'll see that most Department Heads make between $65'000 to $120'000 a year on salary. Senior Managers are around the same.

As one community member said to me, "The money going into one of their raises could be enough to pay for a job for our youth. Our young people don't even make as much as their raise is." Another person remarked, "Why are the Department Heads getting raises when I know many of them don't even come into work or do there job".

This comes at a time when the rest of the world is entering an economic recession.

The Squamish Nation's chief net revenue comes from reserve leases. Places like Park Royal Shopping Centre, the Lynnwood Marina, as well as other area's. With the stringent Indian Act laws guiding Indian Reserve land values, many of these leases are 99 years leases to get the most benefit for the land values, almost on value with that of fee-simple land in the over-all market. As the Canada starts to see a decrease in the housing market, and land value dropping, the Squamish Nation decides to spend more and massively increase wages.


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