UPDATE: P.E.I. MLAs to get a raise

Ryan Ross
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Province House in Charlottetown was the site of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference and is where the provincial government sits. Province House is operated by Parks Canada.

P.E.I.’s MLAs will be making a little more money next year after the group that reviews their salaries decided they should get a raise.

In a report tabled in the legislature today, the Indemnities and Allowances Commission determined MLAs should get a 0.75 per cent pay raise starting April 1, 2014.

That will increase the base MLA salary from $67,400 to $67,906.

It also means Premier Robert Ghiz will see his salary increase from $140,600 to $141,655 while cabinet ministers and Opposition Leader Steven Myers will make $115,359.

Ghiz said he talked about tying any raises to the average of the provincial unions last year, but that idea wasn’t popular so the commission is the best system in place.

“Since this is an independent commission we’ll respect it,” he said.

The commission, which is independent of the legislative assembly, said it received 16 submissions that recommended against a pay raise, but it based its decision on the increase in the consumer price index, collective bargaining agreements and a comparison of MLA salaries to those in other jurisdictions.

P.E.I.’s MLAs are the lowest paid in the country, followed by New Brunswick where they are paid $85,000 per year and Manitoba where they make $85,564.

Alberta’s MLAs are the highest paid at $134,000 per year.

Most of P.E.I.’s MLAs make more than the base salary, such as the speaker, house leaders, whips and non-ministerial members of executive council committees.

Now that the commission released its report, MLAs would have to pass legislation to stop the raises.

Ghiz said it’s an issue that comes up every year and whether the government freezes or doesn’t freeze salaries it would be criticized.

“I think that if you want to, in the future, attract people you need to make sure these salaries are growing in line with what’s happening in other professions or you’re going to have trouble attracting people,” he said.

For Opposition Leader Steven Myers, he said his thoughts on the pay raises haven’t changed since last year when he was against them.

“I don’t know if now is a good time,” he said.

Myers said he wasn’t discounting the work the independent commission did, but MLAs have a responsibility to taxpayers to run the province in the most cost effective way possible.

“Giving raises to MLAs probably isn’t a good idea at a time of fiscal austerity,” he said.

The commission is also reviewing the MLAs’ pension plan and will report its decision on or before March 1, 2014.

Barbara Stevenson, Stan MacPherson and Ron Profit were the commissioners who completed the review.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

 

Organizations: Indemnities and Allowances Commission

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Recent comments

  • Ragin'Cajun
    December 05, 2013 - 11:23

    Steven Meyers doesn't think now is a good time to raise salaries. Why then, did he accept a $48000, raise when he became opposition leader of a party of 4 MLA's? It's easy for him to turn down a $ 859. raise so he can brag that he turned the raise down. If he was sincere, he should have turned down the extra $48,000. that came when they put the boots to Olive. That would have been leadership.

  • Crazy Charlie
    December 04, 2013 - 12:07

    Again, I suspect most Islanders don't have a big problem with how much our MLA's are being paid. However, we certainly care about how many are being paid.

  • Crazy Charlie
    December 04, 2013 - 12:06

    Again, I suspect most Islanders don't have a big problem with how much our MLA's are being paid. However, we certainly care about how many are being paid.

  • al macwill
    December 04, 2013 - 10:14

    For a small town population of 140000 sure is a lot of money. A town council in many places do this for a lot less money

  • Ellen
    December 04, 2013 - 08:03

    PEI MLAs could learn from the world's poorest president, José Mujica. He gives 90% of his $12 000 monthly salary to charity and to small businesses. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Mujica

  • Ellen
    December 04, 2013 - 07:59

    PEI MLA's could learn from the world's poorest president, José Mujica. He donates 90% of his $12 000 monthly salary to charity and to small businesses http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Mujica

  • Pigwatcher
    December 04, 2013 - 06:47

    Our MLA's are the lowest paid in the country and that's the way it should be. They don't deserve a cent more; in fact, their salaries should be cut along with their pensions. Plan B showed what a bunch of useless puppets they are - they waste our tax dollars on useless projects and then cut pensions on hardworking Islanders. Disgusting.

  • jl
    December 04, 2013 - 06:44

    PEI, NB and NS need to form a single province called the Maritimes. Have a single legislature with 50 MLAs for 1.8 million people. NS gets 30, NB gets 24, PEI gets 6. Make all of PEI a single regional municipality with 1 mayor and 12 municipal councillors. Merge the 3 provincial civil services into 1 and cut the combined workforce by 2/3. PEI will always be an island and a unique place. It doesn't need to be a province which we the taxpayers haven't been able to, and can no longer, afford....

  • Useless people
    December 04, 2013 - 05:51

    @Den and Gotta a suggestion,either you both are working in gov or just a die hard liberal,with the political mess this island is in its a disgrace to even suggest a raise while most islanders cannot afford heat,food and medicine.The liberals slogan last election was the liberals were there for the islanders and we will have more money in our pockets, lol...and islanders with the highest fuel prices,this gov is a disgrace nothing less. We are over governed time to trim the fat.

    • Den
      December 04, 2013 - 18:24

      It's called sarcasm. Believe me, I'm the last person who thinks these trough feeders deserve any raise. If they made $5 an hour, they'd be overpaid.

  • Ned
    December 04, 2013 - 05:05

    I've never seen a bunch of politicians that continue to b*tch-slap Islanders and the public sector with their arrogance.....a repeat of the 1996 election is looking more and more possible with every passing week.

  • Garth Staples
    December 04, 2013 - 01:05

    That should help MLAs balance their household budgets!

  • Doc from Alberta
    December 04, 2013 - 00:08

    Re-read: PEI MLAs are the lowest paid in the country. By almost $20,000/ year. So, you get what you pay for. Maybe fewer MLAs with increased salaries would be more effective?

  • Doc from Alberta
    December 04, 2013 - 00:06

    Re-read: PEI MLAs are the lowest paid in the country. By almost $20,000/ year. So, you get what you pay for. Maybe fewer MLAs with increased salaries would be more effective?

  • darren
    December 03, 2013 - 23:19

    Luke------ its make ends MEET not make ends MEAT..... cmon

  • Adolphus
    December 03, 2013 - 22:45

    Devil's Advocate - we're not paying peanuts and we still have monkeys. The best we can do to punish Ghiz and Ministers is to vote them back in, so they don't all end up in the senate or as Ambassadors to Ireland, like Mr. Binns. Let them suffer through 4 more years. Even Pinocchio got tired of not being real. BTW, could we make these stupid codes any easier - we're not trying to get into the Pentagon...

  • Karen
    December 03, 2013 - 20:46

    Alberta MLA's have frozen any salary increase for three years. They could probably afford a salary increase and by the way, each MLA has a lot more territory and voters to contend with than on PEI.

  • Guy Cousineau
    December 03, 2013 - 20:11

    For the amount of work our MLAs do for very little public recognition, I don`t think they are overpaid at 67K. On the other hand, getting a raise that may be more than the cost of living is probably not appropriate, especially after the public sector contract settlements at .5% When did they get their last pay raise? Will their pensions be indexed?

  • Elizabeth Noonan
    December 03, 2013 - 18:49

    This is wrong considering the cuts that are being made to other civil servants pensions who have worked 25, 30, 35 and only make about 1/3 the amount these MLAs after many less years of service. To get, at this time, a raise of any kind is sad. !!!!

  • Oliver Twist
    December 03, 2013 - 18:37

    The Fat Political Pigs get fatter as Prince Edward Island children STARVE.

    • SAD
      December 04, 2013 - 03:00

      Do Island children actually starve? Do we have children in PEI starving? If so, how come we don't hear more about the scandal? And how come social services don't do something drastic and immediate to find ways to feed them? There is enough material waste and good food going to the dump every day to feed everybody on the island--not only crows and seagulls, foxes and even coyotes. We will pay in the end --and before long-- if we allow children to go hungry!

    • Betty
      December 04, 2013 - 11:08

      @Sad...you didn't read about children "food insecurity" on P.E.I. which is a better way of saying "malnourishment" which is a better way of saying "starvation". Yes there are starving children on P.E.I.

    • to Betty
      December 04, 2013 - 21:18

      Yes, I did read something about "food insecurity" but never connected those gentle words with the idea of downright starvation. So we admit that we have "food insecurity", but no one ever said we are starving the children. Why do we use the nicer polished way of saying we are allowing Island children to starve! There's nothing nice about starvation. What's wrong with "saying it like it is"! Who's taking care of the children? Darling little Julia looks like an angel, but where are the hungry ones?

  • Pratt
    December 03, 2013 - 18:23

    The CPI is a measurement used in calculating inflation and hence the cost of living. Ironic, isn't it, that MLA's accord themselves a raise based partially on this, yet they are in the process of denying such to pensioners?

    • You're dead wrong Pratt . . .
      December 04, 2013 - 17:51

      No irony there Pratt. Actually, it's consistency. We'll know the system is broken when those with power and authority are eating at the food bank. Now, that would be irony!

  • Luke
    December 03, 2013 - 18:22

    MLAs should be taking a rollback. This is crazy! How can the likes of the backwoods idiots that sit in the legislature get a pay raise and I can hardly make ends meat? You've got Myers with his slick backed hair taking orders from the backroomers and Gail Shea and he's just a fill in - he's getting a raise?? And, Ghiz himself doesn't need any more money - he is soaking the province already! What in heavens are Islanders going to do when we can't afford to live as a province and we've wasted all this money on our so called politicians?

    • Gotta suggestion for ya Luke
      December 03, 2013 - 19:29

      You and countless others bellyaching about MLA's wages- well YOU too could earn those wages. Back away from the computer and put your name forward in the next election. And NO / I am not a politician . Just sick of hearing the same rants over and over

  • Devil's Advocate
    December 03, 2013 - 17:49

    The base salary of an MLA does not even match someone in middle management. The only people this salary will attract are retirees who have a pension to fall back on. If you pay peanuts you'll get only monkeys.

  • bigfrog
    December 03, 2013 - 17:14

    How do you get those? I've been working for the same employer for over 10 years and I've never been given a raise, no CPI adjustments, no pension, no medical. Ya,Ya, I know, get another job. Well that isn't so easy especially when you have to raise children. The only solution is go back to school! Well I have that too. Five years post secondary education and it didn't do me any good on good ole PEI. Off to Alberta I guess, or maybe politics might hold a future for me.....

    • come on out
      December 04, 2013 - 00:20

      I was making 32,000 a year in pei and I came to alberta and now I make 180,000 and even MORE if I work overtime so I say to you all COME ON OUT life is soooooo much easier out here... PEI A NICE PLACE TO RETIRE BUT ALMOST IMPOSIBLE TO RAISE A FAMILY... oh and NO TAX out here

  • Serious Reader
    December 03, 2013 - 16:59

    I just don't believe this! One of the worst economic years for families on this island and these guys have the gall to announce this raise. They have turned their backs on almost every islander - burdened us with HST/low wages or no jobs/highest gas prices and it goes on and on. And to add this to the pile a few weeks before Christmas when most people are struggling with heating costs versus food/medicine/Christmas gifts. So many people are hurting. Where is the justice? This must be a joke...please tell me it's a joke.

  • laveta
    December 03, 2013 - 16:21

    LIKE THEY NEED ONE ... WHAT A JOKE

  • Complete Bull
    December 03, 2013 - 16:16

    When will the working poor get a pay raise?

  • Don't Believe the Hype
    December 03, 2013 - 16:11

    They took in the Collective Agreements? The same collective agreement that saw the Public Sector only get 0.5%. And the government has stated they sent a letter to this group asking them to make similar changes to the MLA pensions as the MLAs were pressing for the private sector. I guess this didn't happen either. Absolutely disgraceful.

  • DOESN'T MATTER
    December 03, 2013 - 16:05

    It doesn't matter what we the taxpayers think, this dictatorship is above listening to anyone. They are a bunch of self serving, arrogant, obnoxious low lifes that actually believe that they are above everyone else. If even one single person votes for this bunch in the next election(if they let us have one) they are either very very stupid or on the payroll .

  • Allan king
    December 03, 2013 - 15:58

    Funny thing is no matter how many people complain they will do this anyway. There is no care at all on the part of goverment of how this looks or feels to the everyday islander. Congratulations on you raise and enjoy the fat pension you have all earned!

  • No way
    December 03, 2013 - 15:36

    No way. Not one cent more...if anything, take a 40% cut. And for the record, move the election up not move it back further. If you have the backbone to do it, face the electorate ASAP.

  • Astounded
    December 03, 2013 - 15:34

    Cannot be serious!!

  • don
    December 03, 2013 - 15:16

    i said in a posting today that wes and them will get a raise. while the union and etc gets screwed. again i love that most of the members voted liberal it is great they are getting what they deserve. lets see if they turn it down lol

  • Michael C
    December 03, 2013 - 14:51

    MLA's considering the financial state of PEI, dwindling tax base, reviewing pensions of the Cival Servants, the fact the population on PEI is smaller than most cities in other Provinces, the need to find monies through gas taxes and service price increases, NOW is not the time to get any sort of raise. Please vote thus down!

  • Den
    December 03, 2013 - 14:50

    Yep, and they deserve every penny for the hard work they do in our best interests.

    • santa Claus
      December 03, 2013 - 15:27

      Joke of the day.