I couldn’t believe what I heard on the radio on the drive home yesterday. The BC government has initiated an offer for any civil servants who live within the lower mainland, to be given up to 15 days off to volunteer at the Olympics.
Wow! Sounds great ,doesn’t it? How noble of the government to give up their valuable employees, just to help out at the 2010 Olympics! Wait, it gets even better, and yes – there definately is a catch….. The employee’s will all be given 7 days EMPLOYER PAID LEAVE to perform their volunteer duties , the remainder to be taken as either vacation or unpaid leave. So we, the taxpayers, will be paying for these people to take time off their jobs, and selflessly….. “volunteer”.
Apparently the BC Deputy Premier -who sent out the notice – and whoever approved of this piece of nonsense, must not actually know the meaning of the word ‘volunteer’, or, they’ve gone ahead and created a meaning that suits them. As such, I’ve taken the liberty of posting the definition, just to clarify things a little.
volunteer (vŏl‘ən-tîr‘) :
VANOC and Minister Colin Hansen both think it’s a great idea, (big surprise there), and they hope to attract the kind of “skilled workers” they need to the games . In fact, they are both hoping other large companies do the same.
Hey, last time I looked, private companies paid their employees themselves, so if that’s what they want to do, great. I have no issue with the private sector paying anyone on their own dime. However, last time I looked, the BC government wasn’t a private company, and it is operated with tax dollars that come out of your pockets and mine – not private ones. Taxpayers dollars that have to be accounted for.
So, should they be paying civil servants to go and “volunteer”?
I say no, damn it !! If a government employee wants to volunteer, fine,great, but take your own vacation time, or unpaid leave. No pay “incentives”, no pay-cheques. Give me a break. Getting paid to go have fun watching and participating in all the Olympic experience? I should be so lucky… anything I’ve volunteered for has been out of the goodness of my heart, not because I’m getting paid to do it. Not to mention the thousands of volunteers that will be paying their own way to have the honour of volunteering : airfare, accomodation, time taken off work, with no pay, or using their valuable vacation time. That’s true Olympic spirit.
Paid government”volunteers” ? Geesh. Talk about having your cake and eating it.