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Wildrose would resintate pay freeze for government managers; challenges Prentice to do the same

CALGARY, AB (October 3, 2014): A Wildrose government would immediately reverse and reinstate a pay freeze for public sector managers and political appointees and today challenged Premier Jim Prentice to keep his promise to do the same.

In July, the PC cabinet – many of whom are now in Prentice’s inner circle – quietly lifted a three-year pay freeze for senior public servants and political appointees they previously introduced in February of 2013. Not only did they lift the freeze, but they approved a 7% pay hike for them. The pay hike came at a cost of $50 million to taxpayers.

The pay hike applied to deputy ministers, appointed officials with various boards and commissions, and all of Alberta’s foreign officers – including failed PC leadership candidate and Alberta’s Asia representative Gary Mar.

At the time, Prentice said he didn’t support the move and vowed to reverse it. But so far, he has done nothing about it as Premier. Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said Prentice should lead by example, rollback the hike and reinstate the pay freeze.

“This should be a no-brainer for Mr. Prentice. If he wants to demonstrate to Albertans that he’s change – and not just more of the same – he will keep his word, scrap this pay hike and reinstate the pay freeze,” Smith said. “Albertans are tired of this kind of entitlement from the PCs and they want to see their leaders do something about it. Wildrose is committing to bringing back the pay freeze and we hope Mr. Prentice will do the same.”

Prentice spent his first two weeks as Premier cleaning up messes and addressing several mistakes of the previous PC government – but failed to make amends with taxpayers for the senior civil servant pay hike, Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson said.

“Mr. Prentice got a lot of easy headlines in his first two weeks, but he couldn’t bring himself to do something like this that would affect the pocketbooks of PC friends and insiders,” Anderson said. “This is an easy win for him. Rescind the raises and bring back the pay freeze the PCs promised. It’s what Albertans expect and deserve.”