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NDP gives 7.25% raise to officials & vote themselves a junket to Boston

EDMONTON, AB (September 24, 2015): While many Albertans are facing wage cut backs and unemployment, the NDP just rubber stamped a 7.25 per cent pay increase for all senior independent officers of the legislature, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

The motion was approved by NDP members at today’s Standing Committee on Legislative Offices. The raises are for one year and retroactive to April 1, 2015.

“This sends the completely wrong message to Albertans struggling and looking for leadership from their government during difficult economic times,” Wildrose Shadow Democracy and Accountability Minister Jason Nixon said. “The economy is hurting, the NDP are threatening new and higher taxes, and now they are voting for massive pay increases for senior government officials.”

NDP members of the committee also voted themselves funding for an international trip to Boston for the 2015 COGEL Conference on Government Ethics. The conference will only be attended by NDP members of the committee. 

Wildrose committee members Nixon, Old-Didsbury-Three Hills MLA Nathan Cooper and Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock MLA Glenn van Dijken, refused the trip and voted against it.

“At a time when thousands of people are being laid off, the last message we need to send to Albertans is to ‘settle down,’ as they watch their government sign off on big raises for senior officials*,” Cooper said. “Government MLAs, many of whom are still struggling to get their offices functioning and to have meetings with stakeholders and constituents, had no qualms voting themselves a taxpayer funded trip to Boston when the average Albertan is deeply worried about jobs and the economy. This sets the wrong tone.”

The current NDP members of the committee include:

Ms. Denise Woollard (Chair)

Mr. Lorne Dach (Deputy Chair)

Mr. Michael Connolly

Estefania Cortes-Vargas

Mr. Jamie Kleinsteuber

Mr. David Shepherd

Ms. Heather Sweet