In an effort to reduce a deficit that stands at over one billion dollars, Premier Brad Wall today says his government will be looking to reduce compensation costs across the public sector by about 3.5 per cent starting in 2017-18, and he is starting at the top by asking Ministers and MLAs to take a 3.5 per cent reduction in pay.
“Our government is asking the Board of Internal Economy to approve a 3.5 per cent salary reduction for the Premier, all Ministers and MLAs,” Wall said. “I have always said we will not ask other public sector workers to do anything we aren’t prepared to do ourselves as elected officials.”
Wall said staff in the Premier’s Office and ministers’ offices will also be required to contribute to the savings by taking nine unpaid days off a year, which will effectively reduce their pay by about 3.5 per cent. The reduction for MLAs and political staff is expected to save about $500,000 a year.
Wall expects the 3.5 per cent compensation savings to be achieved through negotiations with the unions that represent employees or by employer policy for out of scope employees.
“There are many different ways to achieve these kinds of savings across government,” Wall said. “We are not prescribing any specific measures. Instead, our government is setting a savings target as the funder of public sector compensation and we are hopeful that the various employers and their respective bargaining units will work together and achieve these savings through negotiation.”