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Freeze lifted: PCs end three-year wage freeze for senior managers after just one year

EDMONTON, AB (July 28, 2014): The PC government has prematurely ended its promised three-year wage freeze on senior government officials, rubber-stamping a 7% pay hike for deputy ministers and other political appointees that will see them earn nearly $300,000 a year by 2016.

Last week, the PC cabinet quietly approved an order in council that will increase deputy minister salaries from $275,159 to $294,151.

The move comes just 17 months after the PCs said they would freeze salaries for public sector managers for three years. Finance Minister Doug Horner touted the move with much fanfare at the time, saying the government was “leading by example” after a bad fiscal quarter update in 2013. He claimed it would save taxpayers $54 million.

It’s not just deputy ministers.

Alberta’s foreign officers – including failed PC leadership candidate and Alberta’s Asia representative Gary Mar – are also in line for the exact same pay raise.

Officials with the Alberta Utilities Commission, Alberta Human Rights Commission, the Public Affairs Bureau and various other provincial boards and commissions will also receive a pay hike.

“Chalk it up as another broken promise on what seems to be a never ending list,” Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson said. “It appears the PCs thought they could quietly sneak through a pay hike for their senior appointees and insiders in the middle of summer without anybody noticing they were breaking their word.

“The PC culture of entitlement hasn’t died with the Redford era. It still lives on.”