Members of former premier Alison Redford's staff will receive about $1.3 million in termination pay, the province announced today.
The amount includes severance, plus 16 per cent in lieu of benefits and accrued vacation time.
'These are jobs that tend to carry less security than most and contracts tend to reflect that' - Craig Loewen, premier's office
The money is distributed among nine staffers with the top earners being former chief of staff Farouk Adatia at slightly more than $400,000 and former principal secretary Lee Richardson at $260,000.
The amounts were made public earlier than necessary, said Craig Loewen, director of communications and media relations for the premier's office.
"Our office felt that it was important to have this information made available ... sooner to meet our responsibility for transparency and accountability during this transition period," he said in an email.
The termination payouts are contractual obligations which the province must meet, he said.
While the numbers may seem large, the province has to strike a balance between attracting top talent while being responsible with taxpayers’ money, Loewen said.
"These are jobs that tend to carry less security than most and contracts tend to reflect that," Loewen said.
"Most political contracts reflect the fact that employment prospects for anyone leaving political jobs are limited due to restrictions associated with the required six-month cooling-off period."
The staff was let go after Redford resigned last week.