NEED OF TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGES IN SASKATCHEWAN:
Healthcare Reform and New Economic Policies, Part 4
Mr. Bob Latimer, Mr. Hewitt Helmsing along with other healthcare leaders were corrupting the SHA pension plan and misappropriating public funds
my services were no longer required and that I had to leave the office immediately
I knew that I was dealing with incompetent bureaucrats
It is time to change our way of thinking and to change the mind set of these incompetent business and political bullies
A personal experience: Incompetence & Corruption of the SAHO/SHA(1) Retirement Plan Administration.
November 8, 1998
By Mario deSantis
Sometime in the Winter of 1976 while I was living in Regina and finishing up my Master's thesis in Computer Science and Operations Research, I received a call late at night, it could have been 10:30 PM, from Mr. Rudy Mihalicz, Director of Employee Benefits with the Saskatchewan Health-Care Association (SHA). Mr. Mihalicz stated that he wanted to see me right away that same night since his department was not able at that time to meet the requirements for transferring the SHA pension administration in Regina from a consulting firm in Toronto. I met with Mr. Mihalicz and I was subsequently hired as Administrator of Employee Benefit Plans. I became immediately proficient with the administration of the SHA pension plan and after some six month successful parallel administration with the consulting firm out of Toronto, the SHA Retirement plan administration was transferred in Regina. In the meantime, with the knowledge of the SHA plan Actuary, Mr. Bob Latimer, Mr. Hewitt Helmsing along with other healthcare leaders were corrupting the SHA pension plan and misappropriating public funds(2).
The provincial private pension legislation changed in 1981 and I was the first administrator in the province to design and implement the pension computer system(3) to comply with the legislation. This pension computer system was successfully evaluated and tested by the Actuary, Mr. Bob Latimer, and I received his congratulations(4). Instead to thank me for my services(5), the Director of Employee Benefits, Mr. Randy Bruce, on a Friday in May 1982, gave me an envelope; I told him that I would open the envelope at the office the following Monday morning. On this Monday morning I opened the envelope and I found an unsigned letter(6) stating that my services were no longer required, and that I could stay at the office for the next four months. I approached my direct superior Mr. Bruce and I asked that he sign the letter. The next day, I find another surprising envelope on my desk; I opened this second envelope and now there was a duly signed letter(7) by Mr. Bruce stating that my services were no longer required and that I had to leave the office immediately. You can only understand my feelings of such an abrupt firing if you have the cultural knowledge of the social and working environment in Europe. Anyhow, I had to look for a job and in a telephone conversation I asked for a reference from Mr. Bob Latimer, the SHA pension Actuary. Mr. Latimer stated that he could not "jeopardize" his business with the SHA office and therefore he declined to give me a reference. I thanked him, after all, as a professional and contrary to most today's business and professional people(8), he was frank. At the time of my departure from SHA the seeds for establishing a powerful, autocratic, corrupt and incompetent administration became apparent.
Another chapter of my harrowing family life opened up and it was not until the Fall of 1994 that I dealt again with the SAHO/SHA pension office. I was reaching the age of 55, I wanted to profit from my inactive pension status with the SAHO/SHA Retirement plan and ask for an early retirement as at age 55 as per the retirement plan documentation effective at my separation of employment in May 1982. The retirement plan documentation effective in May 1982 included the so called 1/4% reduction clause for early retirement, and such clause was administratively effective at the time of my termination. In the Fall of 1994 I made few phone calls to the SAHO/SHA pension office and I asked for the implementation of this 1/4% reduction clause; nobody was able to give me an answer and therefore I set up an appointment with a SAHO pension official, I believe Mr. Enright. By this time I knew that I was dealing with incompetent bureaucrats and since my son James was taking courses in Administration through Athabasca University I took him along to attend this appointment and show him the real world. Mr. Enright stated that a new SHA pension document was revised in the Fall of 1982 and it was made retroactive prior to my termination of employment in May 1982. Since this new pension document didn't contain the 1/4% reduction clause I could not benefit from it. At this point I asked if the office had the older plan document and Mr. Enright replied that he could not find it.
I don't want to dwell too much on the further developments of this pension saga(9), but finally I received a letter dated May 31, 1995, from the new Actuary of the plan, Mr. David Keet of The Alexander Consulting Group. In this letter, Mr. Keet states that the 1/4% reduction clause is effective in my case, however, I must pay so much money including interest to benefit from it; further, to show the righteousness of his statement, Mr. Keet goes through futile mathematical exercises as if individual rights arise from mathematical formulae: poor us, poor Actuary, poor professionals, and poor me. This pension saga is not finished yet(10), it is a specific reflection of the corrupted SAHO/SHA pension administration(11), and it is a reflection of our corrupted business and bureaucratic reality(12). This state of corruption reminds me, again and again, of the recent ruling of Justice Barclay stating that Saskatchewan is a racist society(13). By now, we all know that racism is just an aspect of our outdated mental models(14), and as "...racism is deeply ingrained in the province's social fabric..."(15), so the related corrupted mental models are ingrained in our business and political leadership. It is time to change our way of thinking and to change the mind set of these incompetent business and political bullies, isn't it?
The Saskatchewan Association of Health Organization (SAHO) was created in 1993 and it absorbed the Saskatchewan Health-Care Association (SHA). Mr. Hewitt Helmsing led SHA from 1977 to 1993 and when finally he resigned he received an undisclosed compensation for good behaviour carrying a 6 (six) digit figure. 2.
NEED OF TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGES IN SASKATCHEWAN: Healthcare Reform and New Economic Policies, Part 3 Is the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO) above the Law? By Mario deSantis, October 29, 1998 http://ftlcomm.com/ensign 3. The SHA pension system was implemented through the PET Commodore microcomputer in the Fall of 1981. 4. "Examples of Input and Output Specifications of a Saskatchewan Health-Care Association Computerized Pension Options System", by Mario deSantis, September 22, 1981. 5.
Refer to my letter dated May 10, 1982 directed to Ms. Sandra Daku, Director of SHA Employee Benefit Plans. http://www3.sk.sympatico.ca/desam/paper-letter-SDaku-May10-82.htm 6.
Refer to the first unsigned letter of my dismissal dated May 21, 1982 from Mr. Randy Bruce, Director of SHA Employee Benefits. http://www3.sk.sympatico.ca/desam/paper-letter-RBruce-May21-82.htm 7.
Refer to the second duly signed letter of my dismissal dated May 25, 1982 from Mr. Randy Bruce, Director of SHA Employee Benefits. http://www3.sk.sympatico.ca/desam/paper-letter-RBruce-May25-82.htm 8. "Here's a Radical Idea - Tell the Truth!", by Alice Van Housen, first appeared: Fast Company issue 10 page 50 1997. An excerpt of the article "...Let's be honest. we all lie - not just the occasional whopper, but misrepresentations large and small, all day every day. Indeed in a recent survey of 40,000 Americans, 93% admitted to lying "regularly and habitually in the workplace..."http://www.fastcompany.com/online/10/truth.html There is evidence that lying, be in business or politics, is directly proportional to power. 9.
Refer to my letter dated February 10, 1995 directed to Mr. Dave Wild, Superintendent of Pensions, Saskatchewan Justice, Pension Benefits Branch. http://www3.sk.sympatico.ca/desam/paper-letter-SupPensions-Feb10-95.htm 10.
Refer to my letter dated February 18, 1997 directed to Mr. David Wild, Superintendent of Pensions, Saskatchewan Justice, Pension Benefits Branch. http://www3.sk.sympatico.ca/desam/paper-letter-SupPensions-Feb18-97.htm 11.
Refer to my letter dated August 8, 1996 directed to Mr. Dave Wild, Superintendent of Pensions, Saskatchewan Justice, Pension Benefits Branch. http://www3.sk.sympatico.ca/desam/paper-letter-SupPensions-Aug08-96.htm 12.
We have bureaucratic and public agencies which use a language of their own and which alienate consumers at large. It is normal for such agencies to defend their incompetence by hiring high powered law firms and hence spend as much taxpayer money as possible until a legal win is assured. In the US there is the agency National Partnership for Reinventing Government (NPR) whose main objective is to cut the traditional bureaucratic red tape: in particular the NPR provides awards for the widespread use of PLAIN LANGUAGE. http://www.npr.gov/library/news/092498.html http://www.npr.gov/library/vision.html 13. Article "Racism claim overstated", by Randy Burton, The StarPhoenix, July 22/98 THIRD PAGE 14. EXAMPLES OF MENTAL MODELS IN SASKATCHEWAN HEALTH CARE AND RACISM, By Mario deSantis, July 29, 1998 http://ftlcomm.com/ensign 15. Comment by Doug Cuthand, included in the article "Judge, studies declare racism widespread in Saskatchewan", by Dave Margoshes, The Vancouver Sun, Section B, August 29, 1998.