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The Alberta Legislative Committee gives MLA Joseph Schow a $ 12,000 salary increase

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A legislative committee has voted to pay United Conservative PartyMLA Joseph Schow an additional $ 12,096 a year for his work as deputy head of the government house.

Opposition MFAs said they were disgusted by the move Monday, calling it deaf in the face of demands for payroll reimbursement by health care workers exhausted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s not just out of touch with the Albertans, but it’s out of touch with reality,” NDP NDP spokesman Thomas Dang said.

The role of deputy head of the deputy government house has previously been filled by cabinet ministers who already receive an additional payment for their portfolios. Schow, who has been in the role since July, is not in the cabinet.

The appointment of a deputy head of the government house who is not in the cabinet also limits what the MFA can do in the role, according to a 1999 speaker. There are procedural actions that the person is not allowed to take home.

Prime Minister Jason Kenney appointed Schow to the post after changing his cabinet and adding three new associate ministers.

At Monday night’s legislative committee meeting, UCP MLA Dan Williams filed a motion to give Schow the extra payment. Williams said it was important to compensate Schow for his extra work.

Williams described the move as “cost neutral”, as the Whitney Issik government is now also the associate minister of women status and does not raise the $ 12,000 a year she used to earn from the whip role. But now, he raises $ 27,000 more a year to be an associate minister, in addition to the $ 121,000 MLA base salary.

The Legislative Committee, which is dominated by UCP MPUs, voted 5-4 to approve Schow’s additional salary.

People who lose their jobs … And this government decides to take one of their insiders and give it a big, thick increase.– MPJ Todd Loewen

After the meeting, UPP MLA Nathan Neudorf admitted the timing was not ideal, as Alberta is facing a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s just a house cleaning business we had to finish, and it was time to do it,” he said.

“I agree. I don’t think it looks great at this time. But again, being cost-neutral was the best way we could put it.”

Independent MLA Todd Loewen, who was expelled from the UCP group earlier this year, said the claim that there is no additional cost is a “spin”. He said that if a cabinet minister had been given the post, no pay rise would be necessary.

“It ‘s just unimaginable that they would do something so dull in the middle of a situation like this with the state of health we’re in,” Loewen said.

“People who lose their jobs. People who lose their businesses. The mental health of people who have lost their jobs, they have lost their businesses. And this government decides to take one of their insiders and give it a raise. big and fat. “

Independent MFA Drew Barnes told the committee that the pay rise would reflect poorly on all MPUs, regardless of their political affiliation.

NDP MLA Dang said the cost to the government is rising under Prime Minister Jason Kenney.

Prior to the July cabinet reshuffle, there were 20 ministers and three associate ministers. There are now 20 ministers and six associate ministers.

Ministers Doug Schweitzer, Sonya Savage and Ric McIver previously shared the role of deputy head of the house, with no additional payment for that role.

The deputy chairman works with House of Commons leader Jason Nixon to introduce government bills into the legislature, helps manage the order these bills are debated at home, and meets with other parties to discuss business.

CBC requested an interview with Schow and received a statement from Nixon’s office in response. Press secretary Paul Hamnett said deputy heads of government houses in Ottawa and Saskatchewan, Quebec and Nova Scotia receive additional compensation.

He also said it is hypocritical for the NDP to criticize the move, when the head of the opposition house and the whip also receive payments.

In August 2019, MPUs reduced their salary by five percent as a cost-cutting concession the government planned to pursue.

Since the UCP office in April 2019, the government has said it wants to reduce the size of the public service and has demanded payroll reimbursement for government employees, nurses, other health care workers and has tried to limit the money spent on compensation. doctors.

Sources

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2/ https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-legislative-committee-grants-mla-joseph-schow-12-000-pay-raise-1.6215496

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