Whitehorse Daily Star

Hikes in premier’s pay, MLAs’ expenses set out

Legislation introduced Tuesday proposes pay hikes for Premier Sandy Silver – and increases across the board for MLAs’ expense accounts.

By Chuck Tobin on October 10, 2018

Legislation introduced Tuesday proposes pay hikes for Premier Sandy Silver – and increases across the board for MLAs’ expense accounts.

The amendments to the Legislative Assembly Act also propose salary increases for the leader of the third party, the Speaker of the House and the Deputy Speaker.

There are no hikes for cabinet ministers nor MLAs.

All elected members, however, will see their annual expense accounts rise by 30 per cent – from $14,984 to $19,477.

Increases to expense accounts are meant to offset the new federal income tax rules that will begin taxing the expense accounts Jan. 1 for the first time, Helen Fitzsimmons, the director of finance for the legislative assembly, explained this morning.

She said there will be no net increase in the expense accounts, which are intended to cover expenses of elected representatives related to work in their ridings, such as meeting with voters.

There is also no increase in remuneration for MLAs who are all paid $77,972 annually, and whose pay is already indexed to increase annually based on the Consumer Price Index.

On top of the $77,972 and the $19,477 expense accounts MLAs receive, the premier and others are paid an additional salary for fulfilling extra duties.

The additional annual salary for the premier will rise by five per cent from $59,944 to $62,890, bringing his annual pay to $140,862, not including the expense account.

The new rate brings Silver’s pay up to about 25 per cent below the national average for other provincial and territorial leaders.

Hikes for the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and leader of the third party will also bring their annual pay up to 25 per cent below the national average for those positions.

The additional annual salary for the Speaker will rise from $29,973 to $38,974; from $11,989 to $15,565 for the Deputy Speaker; and from $17,983 to $20,843 for the leader of the third party.

Fitzsimmons explained there is no change to the additional salaries for cabinet ministers nor the leader of the official Opposition.

That’s because those salaries are already a few dollars higher than 25 per cent below the national average.

Ministers and the leader of the official Opposition are paid an additional $41,961 annually, on top of the MLA pay of $77,972, bringing their total pay package to $119,933, not including the $19,477 expense account.

Fitzsimmons pointed out the increases were recommended by an independent, non-partisan contractor.

The contractor undertook a review of salaries and benefits for MLAs in 2017 at the direction of the all-party Members’ Services Board, which oversees such matters.

The contractor’s findings and recommendations were provided to the board.

There’s also a new formula for calculating the severance allowance for former MLAs, explains a press release issued by Fitzsimmons.

“The new formula links severance payments to completed years of service rather than to fixed service thresholds. This results in significantly lower severance costs going forward and reflects the approach of most other jurisdictions.”

The Yukon Party issued a statement Tuesday criticizing the Liberal government for bringing forward pay increases at a time when it’s also looking to save money in its annual budget.

Opposition Finance critic Brad Cathers said “it’s inappropriate for the premier to give himself a raise. The official Opposition will not be supporting any pay increases for elected officials.”

Cathers was unavailable to the Star this morning for further comment.

His office said he objected to the pay increases when they were recommended to the Members’ Services Board.

Comments (30)

Up 1 Down 0

Lost In the Yukon on Oct 16, 2018 at 8:35 pm

The Premier's raise should just about cover his internet overages from gaming in his basement most days

Up 10 Down 2

woodcutter on Oct 16, 2018 at 10:05 am

Of course the elected member from Lake Labarge makes noise like a good conservative and opposition party member, outraged and spume flecked lips as he wails at the injustice to the tax payer. This is a role of the opposition, and when he was klutzing around with Denis the Drug Dealer and then the pharmacists he was there giving himself raises, but that was Yukon Party business and so it was righteous and deserving of as Matt says hardworking politicians needing to take bulls**t from the likes of him. Then the Libs were moaning and groaning declaring they were for the working stiff etc., etc. nevertheless the injustice, they also accepted their raise with the outrage that a opposition member is required to show, on everything the government does. Mark my words, when the wheel turns and the boy wonder from Lake Labarge is sitting in the Government rows, he won't roll back his wage or expenses, he will be there, like a good MLA and give himself a raise...again.

That's just the way it goes... another non issue, to boil the blood of the sheep.

Up 9 Down 0

YukonMax on Oct 16, 2018 at 8:50 am

They do a good job, they deserve a raise????? In my book, you were given the job because we thought you would be good at it. We are so used to foot draggers that when someone does the job well we are so impressed we ought to give them a raise. That isn't an "internship", they already got paid for whatever they did and very well I might add.

Up 3 Down 7

Ed Norton on Oct 15, 2018 at 4:23 pm

@ my opinion, so that is what the neo cons always do, start name calling and telling half truths and unfortunately it plays to large segment of their base. Do you see who the neo cons have for a leader? He has zero chance of appealing to the general electorate, zero. Sort of a Harper light or Shear s__t.

Up 4 Down 4

ProScience Greenie on Oct 15, 2018 at 3:14 pm

Good point Groucho. That Trump can donate his wages yet make many times that amount of money back by bilking the US government into paying for official events held at his hotels and golf courses is pure stable genius level con-artistry. None of our politicians can even come close to that level of grifting, not even Mulroney, Martin or any of our local opportunist politicians of various stripes.

Up 7 Down 6

My Opinion on Oct 14, 2018 at 8:27 pm

@Roy
So the private sector increase wages and who do you think pays for that???? You do you fool. It gets passed on and then you will need a raise again. It is called inflation and nobody wins. Happened in the early eighties and I ended up with a 21% Mortgage. How would you like that? Get ready. Trudope is doing his best.

Up 4 Down 3

Jack on Oct 14, 2018 at 7:17 pm

@atom This peep is bitching because when the govt is looking at a 2 percent cut across the board, and that may not sound like much but equates to about a hundred positions in government. Do a cost of living increase just like everybody else. These exorbitated rates are only because the Feds made new rules for taxing their income. Wish the private sector had that option. So bitch yes big time from this peep.

Up 9 Down 6

Groucho d'North on Oct 14, 2018 at 4:44 pm

Funny you never hear of Canadian politicians donating their salaries to a different charitable organization each quarter. Just a little fodder for all you Trump haters.

Up 3 Down 1

Al.Bet on Oct 14, 2018 at 2:46 pm

Slick must be using too much product as it has affected/effected his STM. Seems to me golden handshakes were made with previous Cluster.

Up 9 Down 15

Atom on Oct 13, 2018 at 2:01 pm

The premier will make 2,900...twenty nine hundred...two thousand nine hundred...dollars more annually.
Hard to consider that lining his pockets.

But peeps wanna bitch because that's what peeps do.

Up 9 Down 16

Roy on Oct 13, 2018 at 11:16 am

Why don't you private sector folks demand a raise from your boss, instead of expecting the public sector to bring their wages down? Maybe private sector employers don't value their employees' work as much as Yukon does. Demand better for yourselves because you are worth it. The cost of living keeps going up, and so too should your wages. That's really all YG does for it's employees.

Up 13 Down 5

Just Sayin' on Oct 13, 2018 at 10:35 am

@Andy

The general rule is; if one knows how to use their grey matter, one does not work for YTG. ...

Up 9 Down 5

Will Knot on Oct 12, 2018 at 9:38 pm

When you've got a top CEO that is achieving astounding results you don't mind paying a little more for that position. Now if your justifying wages for a pseudo temporary unelected ineffective opposition leader, well that type of talent can be pulled from any street corner and you would pay commensurately.

Up 14 Down 3

Juniper Jackson on Oct 12, 2018 at 9:04 pm

Personally.. I think they (politician's) are all crooks.. so I try to pick the crooks that will do the least damage... The last government was so bad I just could not vote Conservative again.. but they go and choose another less than stellar candidate and I'm saying to me.. Who is Max going to run?

Anyone not going to line their pockets first? All the parties when they had power jacked up those paychecks.. honest..I remember when a person got their pay, and there was some left over after food and bills.. now, there is nothing left 5 days before payday and if you want any kind of a life that you want..whether it is snowmobiling, or skiing, or crafts.. you better have credit cards or all you have for a life is sleep and work. I know that there will be some of our self righteous folks out there who are going to say.. I saved, I lived frugally, but I didn't do without.. and my house was paid for in 3 years, and I have 1 million put away for retirement.. good for you..the rest of us don't.

Up 17 Down 1

Jack on Oct 12, 2018 at 3:58 pm

@Mike H totally agree outside of picking your pocket for about 90 bucks a month not sure what else they provide. I guess t-shirts, mugs, steak knives, and other useless paraphernalia They come up short on being there for the membership. It has gotten political and seems to believe they have the right to interfere in the day to day operations of the organizations, their members work for. Time for tougher legislation on workers rights and turf the YEU

Up 12 Down 12

Ed Norton on Oct 12, 2018 at 3:01 pm

OK Mr. Bandit, you sound like you are in the know and are predicting that Liberals will be "kicked to the curb", in the next election. Who in your infinite knowledge will replace them?

Up 25 Down 2

north_of_60 on Oct 12, 2018 at 2:53 pm

@Andy The Yukon is a Territory. Regardless of what they want to "brand" themselves it's still The Yukon Territorial Government, aka YTG.

Up 17 Down 5

My Opinion on Oct 11, 2018 at 9:52 pm

So the Liberals Federally and Territorially stated that the Carbon Tax would come back. I guess they meant to them? And yes wages will need to go up to compensate for the Carbon Tax that will effect every item you buy. Trouble is that that drives inflation that is controlled by raising interest rates. Tighten your seatbelt Ladies and Gentlemen. Or can we say that anymore?????

Up 3 Down 17

Andy on Oct 11, 2018 at 8:14 pm

@Just Sayin'

Jelly? Maybe get your grade 10 and apply on a YG (no such thing as YTG for the past decade) job?

Up 17 Down 8

Mike H on Oct 11, 2018 at 1:32 pm

@Thomas Brewer

YEU is a useless organization. I don't think in the past 20 years there has been more than a 2% increase, in fact in many field the private sector is now paying better wages.

Up 22 Down 6

Just Sayin' on Oct 11, 2018 at 10:24 am

Umm, is this to cover the cost of the carbon tax?
♪ hey, hey, ho, ho, all the people in YTG need to go♫

Up 24 Down 3

Jake on Oct 11, 2018 at 9:00 am

EH!! What are you gonna do? You can scream like hell. Or you can be sick to your stomach . Not much else. We could give them their walking papers at election time, but has anyone seen the severance packages they get? Ouch. Only option is to ensure those, that are running for office have their feet put to the fire on this issue. Would you commit to the Consumer Price Index as the only option for raises to your salaries and expense accounts. If more comes you would either give it back or donate it to a charity. I believe the CPI runs about 1.5-2 percent annually in Whitehorse.

Up 37 Down 9

Bandit on Oct 11, 2018 at 8:45 am

So let's all agree Premier Silver must be sampling the stock from the storefront on Industrial road a week before legalization. To ask all departments to shave off 2% of their budgets recently, and while exhaling said sample asks for a 5% increase in salaries? It seems like similar tactics that City council pulled. You know your a** is being kicked to the curb next election so why not get all you can while you can. Every vote counts so remember to vote.

Up 19 Down 39

Matthew Mehaffey on Oct 10, 2018 at 11:08 pm

I think we should pay elected officials even more. They work their asses off, take s**t from opinionated people like me and can be fired on a whim every few years, even dippers who I think are almost always wrong deserve our respect. Thank you MLAs, MPs, Councilors, Mayors Chiefs etc. Keep up the hard work.

Up 14 Down 39

Ilove Parks on Oct 10, 2018 at 10:52 pm

They work hard under stressful situations and deserve these increases.

Up 16 Down 36

Edie rue on Oct 10, 2018 at 6:03 pm

Tough jobs, the pay raise is justified. They still got my vote.

Except for Frost, she throws HSS staff under the bus.

Up 10 Down 9

Geoff on Oct 10, 2018 at 6:01 pm

Half of each party's MLAs (about 9) should be seated in the opposition benches, and a random selection of 11 people who voted in the last election should be chosen to sit on the government side. They debate, MLAs try to persuade citizens to say yes, citizens try to persuade MLAs to say no, and then vote, and the government has to abide by the decision of this group.

Up 38 Down 3

Thomas Brewer on Oct 10, 2018 at 3:38 pm

5% pay raise, eh? I'm sure the YEU will have this number in mind come the next bargaining sessions...

Up 40 Down 11

BnR on Oct 10, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Gee, I don't recall Cathers making a stink when the YP voted to give the MLAs a greater severance package, right before they got the boot....https://www.whitehorsestar.com/News/departing-mlas-will-pocket-about-624-700
Regardless, the optics of yet more raises is terrible.

Up 41 Down 8

ProScience Greenie on Oct 10, 2018 at 3:06 pm

So are the rest of us, the people that these politicians work for, going to get an equivalent raise?

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