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#61 LJ

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:26 PM

Well I must say I have had nothing but excellent service from ICBC, mind you I have never had an accident injury.
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#62 G-Man

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:49 PM

I have been in an accident and not only have I had good service it is damn cheap too.

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#63 skeptic

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:50 PM

ICBC registration and basic liability insurance is mandatory, and there is no alternative. Ergo, ICBC is a government monopoly providing a compulsory service. There is no way it could be considered anything but essential.

#64 Mike K.

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:58 PM

I have been in an accident and not only have I had good service it is damn cheap too.


If your case is simple or open-and-shut, there's not much wrong ICBC can do. There's really no wrong any insurer can do.

But if you find yourself having to go on the defensive against a lying driver or were injured beyond a few aches and pains, the experience very quickly erodes into an outright battle.

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#65 Holden West

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:09 PM

^So American insurers are pushovers?
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#66 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:15 PM

^So American insurers are pushovers?


With private insurance, like in America, you have your insurance company vs. theirs. They can do all the dirty work. With ICBC representing both sides, it's the insured vs. the insurance co. every time. And if you are treated poorly once, well, you can't change to the competition next time. It really is a crazy system we have.
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#67 G-Man

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:12 PM

^ and yet cheap.

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#68 Bob Fugger

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:07 AM

Anyone earning in excess of $20,000 a year to stand at a licensing office and snap photos or accept payment for speeding tickets is grossly overpaid, IMO.


C'mon, Mike: you can't be so thick as to think that is all front counter staff do. I think you have Customer Service Reps confused with BC Liquor Store shelf-stockers. CSRs apply policy, regulations and legislation to ensure that people who get a licence actually deserve it. Granted, licence renewals and payment processing are a good chunk of what they do, but be grateful that they are paid what they are paid, or you'd have forged IDs and people that don't deserve a commercial licences driving massive trucks they'd have no business driving.

ICBC is a successful corporation - just look at the increases in payments to government, lawyers, auto body shops, healthcare professionals and even IcBC management. All staff are asking for is that staff and customers share in that success, given that both groups are primarily responsible for it, in fair wage increases and lowered rates/rebates for drivers.

I'm sure if your boss was making a **** tonne of money and then proposing to not give you a raise for five years - not even cost of living increases - and then raised prices, you'd be a bit sour, too.

#69 Layne French

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:51 AM

Anyone earning in excess of $20,000 a year to stand at a licensing office and snap photos or accept payment for speeding tickets is grossly overpaid, IMO.


you do realize that $20,000 a year is below minimum wage right? $20,000 would have about $385 in weekly earnings....

#70 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:59 AM

I'm sure if your boss was making a **** tonne of money and then proposing to not give you a raise for five years - not even cost of living increases - and then raised prices, you'd be a bit sour, too.


If our boss was doing that and not sharing the wealth with his staff, likely another guy down the street in the same business was also doing well, and we could go work for him if he was more generous.

As it is, ICBC might be doing well, but they aren't hemorrhaging staff to other insurance companies, because, well, there are none, and I'm pretty sure employees are already doing well compared to their private-sector equivalents in terms of wages an benefits. So if they have good employees, and no lack of qualified applicant for positions that come open, why arbitrarily offer wage and benefit improvements?
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#71 Mike K.

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:14 AM

C'mon, Mike: you can't be so thick as to think that is all front counter staff do. I think you have Customer Service Reps confused with BC Liquor Store shelf-stockers. CSRs apply policy, regulations and legislation to ensure that people who get a licence actually deserve it. Granted, licence renewals and payment processing are a good chunk of what they do, but be grateful that they are paid what they are paid, or you'd have forged IDs and people that don't deserve a commercial licences driving massive trucks they'd have no business driving.


So, that's not what they do, but it's a good chunk of what they do, you say? Therefore on the odd occasion a clerk needs to verify whether some truckers ID is a fake they should be earning $40,000 plus benefits? I'm sure a bouncer from your favourite nightclub could do the work for minimum wage plus tips.

It's only a matter of time before ICBC is disbanded as a mandatory insurance service for all drivers. When the day comes that ICBC is no more, all of those unionized workers earning $30/hour to man the counters will be hoping to get above minimum wage when re-applying for their old jobs. These strike actions and demands for wage increases just push the peg one step closer towards privatization.

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#72 Bob Fugger

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:18 AM

If our boss was doing that and not sharing the wealth with his staff, likely another guy down the street in the same business was also doing well, and we could go work for him if he was more generous.


We both know that that doesn't really happen en masse. People will *****, whine and complain, but are for the most part too scared of change to pull the trigger to do something like that. People like the devil they know.

As it is, ICBC might be doing well, but they aren't hemorrhaging staff to other insurance companies, because, well, there are none, and I'm pretty sure employees are already doing well compared to their private-sector equivalents in terms of wages an benefits. So if they have good employees, and no lack of qualified applicant for positions that come open, why arbitrarily offer wage and benefit improvements?


Even more reason to ensure that the employer doesn't take advantage of their monopoly position, by justifying arbitrary wage freezes by stating that employees have nowhere else to go.

And I'm sorry, I fail to see how insurance monopoly automatically deems any wage and benefit improvements arbitrary. Are you suggesting because there is no competition for one of their product lines, that staff are not entitled to share in the wealth of the employer?

#73 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:25 AM

I'm suggesting that government, and government monopolies ought to act more like private-sector employees.

Thrifty Foods employees are paid quite poorly, on the whole, as far as I'm concerned. But they seem content and competent. So even if Thrifty's is making oodles of money, and I don't know if they are, but if they are, I see no reason for them to increase employee wages at this time.

ICBC is making money, employees are happy, nobody is leaving. Keep wages the same. Just because government can increase wages - because they have no competition in their business - does not mean they should.
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

#74 Bob Fugger

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:27 AM

ICBC registration and basic liability insurance is mandatory, and there is no alternative. Ergo, ICBC is a government monopoly providing a compulsory service. There is no way it could be considered anything but essential.


Sorry, no:
  • CMHC has a de facto monopoly on the provision of mandatory mortgage insurance to high-ratio borrowers. Is that an essential service?
  • The Ministry of Energy and Mines are the sole purveyors of mining permits in BC. Is that an essential service?
  • Pacific Carbon Trust have a monopoly on the purchase and sale of carbon tax credits in BC. Is that an essential service?
  • The Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development are the sole purveyor of government art grants in BC. Is that an essential service?
  • The Liquor Distribution Branch has a monopoly on the wholesale purchase and redistribution to retailers of liquor in BC. Is that an essential service?
Wait, scratch that last one!! If BC dried up because of an LDB strike, that would threaten the health, safety or the welfare of British Columbians!!! :cheers:

#75 Bob Fugger

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:31 AM

ICBC is making money, employees are happy, nobody is leaving. Keep wages the same. Just because government can increase wages - because they have no competition in their business - does not mean they should.


But VHF, you are arguing the opposite. You're saying because there is a monopoly, staff do not deserve wage increases. Forget the philophical argument for a sec, though: do you think it's right in any sector, that staff do not get a wage increase for five years - which, when there is inflation, which there is in Canada anywhere from 1.5-3% - is tantamount to a wage loss? Couple that with company business partners and executive receiving increased payments, while staff and customers - who are the ones primarily responsible for the corporation's success - have to make do with less (real dollars)?

That's not right.

#76 Bingo

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:36 AM

What was the end of the story about the ICBC employees that were getting special deals on the vehicles the corporation was writing off? I think it was about 5 years ago.

#77 skeptic

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:46 AM

Sorry, no:

  • CMHC has a de facto monopoly on the provision of mandatory mortgage insurance to high-ratio borrowers. Is that an essential service?
  • The Ministry of Energy and Mines are the sole purveyors of mining permits in BC. Is that an essential service?
  • Pacific Carbon Trust have a monopoly on the purchase and sale of carbon tax credits in BC. Is that an essential service?
  • The Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development are the sole purveyor of government art grants in BC. Is that an essential service?
  • The Liquor Distribution Branch has a monopoly on the wholesale purchase and redistribution to retailers of liquor in BC. Is that an essential service?
Wait, scratch that last one!! If BC dried up because of an LDB strike, that would threaten the health, safety or the welfare of British Columbians!!! :cheers:

Your argument is a bit of a stretch. If I rely on my car for my livlihood and ICBC strikes and I am prevented from renewing my registration and insurance, that has a big impact on my financial welfare. The fact is, the absence of vehicle licensing and liability insurance renewal would have an huge impact on the economy and people's lives, and I don't believe a union should have the power to wield that as a threat.

#78 Bob Fugger

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:23 AM

Your argument is a bit of a stretch. If I rely on my car for my livlihood and ICBC strikes and I am prevented from renewing my registration and insurance, that has a big impact on my financial welfare. The fact is, the absence of vehicle licensing and liability insurance renewal would have an huge impact on the economy and people's lives, and I don't believe a union should have the power to wield that as a threat.


I mentioned in an earlier post that ICBC's network of Autoplan brokers (privately owned insurance brokers) are unaffected by any potential job action and will still be able to issue policies. With respecting to driver licence renewals, all it takes is a Cabinet meeting to sign an emergency Order-in-Council to extend the validity period of existing licences. A mere stroke of the pen eliminates any so-called "threat." Seeking an essential services order is essentially swatting a fly with a cannonball, in this case.

The point of a strike is to make it inconvenient for customers, so that they put pressure on government/the employer to settle. If there was as "threat" as you say, to health, safety or welfare, then we're in essential services territory. These are just inconveniences - nothing more.

And let me pre-empt any vilification of this particular union by stating that this is how collective bargaining works. Bargaining requires leverage on both sides. While it might seem that the union is punishing customers, in fact, the union is of the strong opinion that money should be going back to customers (in the form of lower rates and/or rebates), as well.

#79 Mike K.

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:21 AM

I mentioned in an earlier post that ICBC's network of Autoplan brokers (privately owned insurance brokers) are unaffected by any potential job action and will still be able to issue policies.


I don't know if that is actually the case. The last time I renewed my insurance the autoplan broker called ICBC directly to make an inquiry about insurance options and clear up a mistake made on my renewal form.

But renewing insurance is the easy part. My concern is with ICBC claims being delayed for who knows how long and customers getting the shaft while workers strike.

The point of a strike is to make it inconvenient for customers, so that they put pressure on government/the employer to settle. If there was as "threat" as you say, to health, safety or welfare, then we're in essential services territory. These are just inconveniences - nothing more.


But we won't, that's the point. Nobody will put pressure on ICBC to pay their workers more wages to get this over with. People will put pressure on the government to legislate workers back to their desks.

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#80 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:24 AM

...do you think it's right in any sector, that staff do not get a wage increase for five years - which, when there is inflation, which there is in Canada anywhere from 1.5-3% - is tantamount to a wage loss?


When things are good in the private sector, and benefits in the public sector must therefore increase in order to retain and attract quality employees, then yes, raises are in order.

When jobs in the public sector include wages and benefits that are significantly higher than in the private sector for the same work, then no, there is no need for increases, despite any length of time without such increases going back. And despite cost-of-living or inflation that is reducing those employees' buying power.

In the real world (private sector) where the employer has to deal with competition for his products and services, the employer can't just say he's going to be "fair" to employees, he has to live in the economic realities of the free market system. And just because ICBC works in another world where they can increase wages and benefits above those in the private sector, does not mean they should.

And as much as you say that employees are all for lower insurance rates, and I'm sure they are, for their own insurance payments, I've never seen a labour bargaining platform that includes demands for lower prices on company products and services. In reality, any bargaining position that includes net cost increases for better wages and benefits is a de facto demand for higher end-user prices.
<p><span style="font-size:12px;"><em><span style="color:rgb(40,40,40);font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;">"I don’t need a middle person in my pizza slice transaction" <strong>- zoomer, April 17, 2018</strong></span></em></span>

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