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Old 03-05-2012, 02:50 PM   #1
moahunter
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Default Alberta MLAs deserve pay increase: report

Lol, I don't mean to say "I told u so", but I did tell so. During the political thread for the election I said something to the effect: "I bet the committee comes back and recommends MLA's should earn more". While I'm not that opposed to the idea (as I do think politicians aren't that well paid), such committees are always self serving. Government bureaucrats always want to increase salaries at the top, to justify their own increases. A judge will want politicians to be paid well, so that their salaries don't seem so out of line. All are members of the "old boys club". Anyway:

Quote:
CALGARY — Some of Alberta’s already handsomely paid legislators seem likely to receive a pay hike if newly re-elected Premier Alison Redford follows through on a report that attempts to simplify the legislature’s byzantine compensation system.

The government released Wednesday a long-awaited report on MLA compensation compiled by retired Supreme Court justice John Major. It suggests paying MLAs a flat rate of $134,000 and an extra $67,000 to the leader of the Opposition, ministers and the Speaker. Mr. Major also suggested the premier, who is already the highest-paid in the country, receive a 21% pay hike to $268,000 this year and increases over the next two years to reach $335,000.
So what will Redford do now? Give another pay hike to MLA's? Or will she admit that the committee approach wasn't right?

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/05...crease-report/

Last edited by moahunter; 03-05-2012 at 03:05 PM.. Reason: Some spelling mistakes
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:07 PM   #2
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she has already said that she won't be taking the raise
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:12 PM   #3
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^will all MLA's so decide, or will she force it? What a waste of money this self serving committee was. WR messed up at the end, but they were right on this one:

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During the campaign, Wildrose leader Danielle Smith made hay with the issue. At the televised leaders debate, Ms. Smith quipped: “I didn’t need a judge to tell me what to do. I asked Albertans.”

Wildrose suggested MLAs be paid a flat rate of about $125,000 per year.
http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/05...crease-report/
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:16 PM   #4
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They should hire someone like Aon Hewit to do this... not a judge...
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:22 PM   #5
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I am tired of all the political grandstanding. I know draftsmen who make more than $125,000 a year. You can make $100,000 as a heavy equipment operator in Fort Mac without overtime. Lets get real and stop listening to all the small minded complainers who are out of touch with reality. If we want to save money reduce the size of the legislature by 40% and give the remainder a 30% raise. Maybe then we will get someone more qualified than Ms Smith to run for office.
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:37 PM   #6
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This is strange, because I read a different story (I think in Metro) that said the report only recommended raises for the Premier and Opposition Leader, while MLA's would have their pay packages cleaned up and slightly reduced as well as the "transition" allowances capped at a year's salary.

edit: This CBC story seems to back that up: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...r-mla-pay.html

Quote:
He recommends lowering the average MLA salary to about $134,000 a year, capping transition allowances when politicians leave office, and re-introducing a pension plan.
If the recommendations are adopted in full, the total pay, benefits and pension of the new 87 MLAs would equal the cost of the last 83 legislators, he said.
Bolding mine. So it seems to be sloppy journalism to headline the article as the National Post did, when rank and file MLA's would appear to be recommended a pay cut, not raise.

The re-introduction of pensions does raise some alarm bells for me. Although it's not like the transition allowances that replaced them were all that much better.

He does also provide reasoning for keeping the tax-free portion of their salary, which while I still think doesn't promote transparency at least has some logic behind it.

Last edited by Marcel Petrin; 03-05-2012 at 04:43 PM.. Reason: Additional information, spelling, grammar
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Glenco View Post
I am tired of all the political grandstanding. I know draftsmen who make more than $125,000 a year. You can make $100,000 as a heavy equipment operator in Fort Mac without overtime. Lets get real and stop listening to all the small minded complainers who are out of touch with reality. If we want to save money reduce the size of the legislature by 40% and give the remainder a 30% raise. Maybe then we will get someone more qualified than Ms Smith to run for office.
100% with this.

I would rather see fewer MLA's - I have no issue if they make a bit more.
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:49 PM   #8
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^will all MLA's so decide, or will she force it? What a waste of money this self serving committee was.
What committee are you talking about? The report was written by a retired Supreme Court Justice. As for self-serving, I'm not sure what about the report, other than four months of employment, benefits him.

I think the recommendations sound reasonable although Redford is correct that a large increase in the Premier's salary does not make sense. Other than that it sounds like he's recommending lowering salaries, eliminating committee pay, and introducing a sane pension plan.
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by christopherj View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenco View Post
I am tired of all the political grandstanding. I know draftsmen who make more than $125,000 a year. You can make $100,000 as a heavy equipment operator in Fort Mac without overtime. Lets get real and stop listening to all the small minded complainers who are out of touch with reality. If we want to save money reduce the size of the legislature by 40% and give the remainder a 30% raise. Maybe then we will get someone more qualified than Ms Smith to run for office.
100% with this.

I would rather see fewer MLA's - I have no issue if they make a bit more.
i'm not sure whether the reduction in numbers is really advisable or not but even if you reduced the number from 87 to 52 it would still only reduce the size of a 40 billion dollar budget by 0.0175%.

increasing their salaries - whether for 87 or for 52 - should however make political office a more attractive alternative to many bright and talented individuals that simply can't (or won't) afford it otherwise.

the end result of not attracting enough of our best and brightest to politics because we're too *&^% cheap and short sighted is something that makes us all poorer as a result.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:09 PM   #10
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If Premier and MLAs got a hefty raise then minimum wage should be hefty increase for the low income earners.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:08 PM   #11
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They should have placed the question on the ballot during the last election...
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:57 PM   #12
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In the 80s I wrote a letter to the editor suggesting that their pay be set according to a factor based the median ( not avg) Albertan salary and their pensions be tied to Alberta's GDP growth. It actually got printed!

I was so young and idealistic back then.

I don't like their tax free income, golden parachutes/excessive pension benefits and I think their salary levels are adequate if not too high.



...and there is no way draftsmen should 'permanently' make $125,000 a year. Moreover, there is no shortage of people willing to be MLAs.

Last edited by KC; 03-05-2012 at 10:11 PM..
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:10 PM   #13
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Do not forget about the double and triple dipping retired Court of Queens Bench judges being appointed to be Chief Commissioners of Human Rights, Workers Compensation etc. which appears to be attending to their jobs similar to the no meet committees. Thousands of complaints are submitted annually and less then one percent ever reach tribunal stage.............. complainants are just treated like insurance companies attitude of deny......deny.......deny.....if u pursue any further then it is delay.....deny.....deny......delay....delay, hoping u just give up or die before they are exposed and have to react. But make sure us appointed get all our raises, even if we are getting our immediate pensions from our other government taxpayer paid jobs.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:13 PM   #14
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...and there is no way draftsmen should 'permanently' make $125,000 a year. Moreover, there is no shortage of people willing to be MLAs.
Currently Alberta MLAs have no pension they cease to be MLAs, so there is no 'permanent' income. I do think they should either have a fairly standard pension plan or, as I do at my work place, RRSP payments covered.

There is the issue of 'transitional pay' which for long serving MLA's is fairly high but I'm not convinced is that big a deal.

As for there being no shortage of people willing to be MLAs, be aware you get what pay for. Set the pay too high or too low and we won't get the people we want in the job.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:25 AM   #15
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Set the wage and benefits too high and you attract the type of people more interested in raping the system for personal gain than in performing a public service. There are many very hard working, highly intelligent people working for relatively low incomes in this province that could do the jobs equally well.
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:43 AM   #16
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Set the wage and benefits too high and you attract the type of people more interested in raping the system for personal gain than in performing a public service. There are many very hard working, highly intelligent people working for relatively low incomes in this province that could do the jobs equally well.
134,000 is well below the level needed to attract rapists.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:23 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Glenco View Post
I am tired of all the political grandstanding. I know draftsmen who make more than $125,000 a year. You can make $100,000 as a heavy equipment operator in Fort Mac without overtime. Lets get real and stop listening to all the small minded complainers who are out of touch with reality. If we want to save money reduce the size of the legislature by 40% and give the remainder a 30% raise. Maybe then we will get someone more qualified than Ms Smith to run for office.
100% with this.

I would rather see fewer MLA's - I have no issue if they make a bit more.
If you reduce the number of MLA's they will be taken from urban seats... thusly increasing the over representation of the rural population.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:48 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopherj View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenco View Post
I am tired of all the political grandstanding. I know draftsmen who make more than $125,000 a year. You can make $100,000 as a heavy equipment operator in Fort Mac without overtime. Lets get real and stop listening to all the small minded complainers who are out of touch with reality. If we want to save money reduce the size of the legislature by 40% and give the remainder a 30% raise. Maybe then we will get someone more qualified than Ms Smith to run for office.
100% with this.

I would rather see fewer MLA's - I have no issue if they make a bit more.
If you reduce the number of MLA's they will be taken from urban seats... thusly increasing the over representation of the rural population.
True. Any redistribution would continue to hose the cities.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:45 AM   #19
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^You are absolutely wrong in this matter. The reason we have so many MLAs is to give more power to the rural areas. They are allowed to deviate 25% from the median thus allowing more rural seats. The reason they added four seats in the last election is they did not want to take seats away from the rural ares. By adding 4 urban seats the net difference is 4. If they took four seats from the rural areas and gave them to the urban areas there would have been a net difference of 8.
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