Warmland House labour costs are outrageous

As typical with every government operated facility, staff salaries and benefits are outrageous.

Warmland House labour costs are outrageous

Warmland House in Duncan consists of a 30-bed shelter where patrons can have a one night stay, a 24-unit studio apartments where patrons live by the month and pay a very low rental, and an outreach where patrons have day use of the facilities for a meal, showers, laundry, etc.

2018 shelter revenue was $716,293 with staff salaries and benefits at $553,533 with a labour cost of 77.2 per cent. Apartment revenue was $407,551 with staff salaries and benefits at $238,888 with a labour cost of 58.6 per cent. Outreach revenue was $80,518 with staff salaries and benefits at $57,744 with a labour cost of 71.9 per cent.

Revenue comes from the Vancouver Island Health Authority, B.C. Housing, and apartment rentals. Taxpayers are paying to keep this shelter in operation. There is a definite concern here as the shelter should have a break even point on a monthly basis. That is, no profit or loss.

As typical with every government operated facility, staff salaries and benefits are outrageous. There are 22 employees employed at Warmland House and total salaries for 2018 is $850,165 which on average is $38,643 total wages per year per employee. Total revenue for 2018 was $19,891 higher than in 2017, and yet staff salaries and benefits increased by $35,896. This is totally outrageous.

What is the purpose of keeping Warmland House open when the only purpose seems to be that 22 employees are paid excellent wages and benefits? In 2018 and 2017, Warmland had a deficit which is outrageous as the operation should be operated at a break even point. In summary, taxpayers are wasting tax dollars, because of very poor management qualities at Warmland and the provincial government not overseeing the operation in regards to the financial obligations. Total loss for 2018 was $227,652 and total loss for 2017 was $112,611.

Warmland House is audited once a year, but no one seems to read the financial statements because if they would, they would investigate why does staff salaries and benefits keep rising with a larger deficit. I am sure that the outside accounting firm doing the audit would have brought this to their attention. As there seems to be no control over wages and benefits, the best solution would be to lay off the present government staff and contract the labour out. That way a contract could be awarded for staffing requirements for a five year term and renegotiated every five years. We are talking taxpayer dollars, and the present outrageous labour costs are not satisfactory from a taxpayers point of view. Unbelievable!

Joe Sawchuk


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