Beyond the Headlines

A little extra pay for our MLAs (or sometimes a lot)

Posted: Oct 24, 2013 1:13 PM ET Last Updated: Oct 24, 2013 1:13 PM ET

Now that all the MLAs and new cabinet ministers have been sworn in, more than half of the 51 elected members of the legislature will start collecting bonus pay, over and above their regular salary of $89,234.90.


That's because with just about every new title they are given, there's a little extra in their pay envelope.


The big winner is, as expected, Premier Stephen McNeil. The premier gets an additional $112,791.20, bringing his annual salary to more than $200,000 a year ($202,026.10 to be exact)


Each of his 15 ministers will get substantial raises as well -- an additional $49,046.51 for a total payday of $138,281.41.


Rookie MLA Kevin Murphy will also get an additional $49,046.51 for taking on the job of trying to control the kids in the daycare (Speaker of the House). Deputy Speaker Margaret Miller will pocket an extra $24,523.25.


Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie is also getting a substantial raise. Now that his party is the official opposition he'll receive an additional $49,046.51, while the leader of the NDP will receive an extra $24,523.25


And remember all this bonus pay counts towards their lucrative pension plan, which is why former Premier Darrell Dexter is able to claim a pension of $131,199,50 after serving 15 years in the legislature.


MLAs also qualify for committee payments and some of those are substantial as well.


For example, the house leader for each of the recognized parties gets an additional $10,506.00 a year. So does the caucus chair for each party.


The deputy house leader for each party receives an extra $5,253.00 a year, as does the whip of each party.


While a gaggle of MLAs got new jobs this week, the Liberals were quick to shuffle decks of the senior civil service, re-assigning five deputy ministers and getting of rid of three others (Health, Education and Environment).


Dumping deputy ministers isn't unusual when a new government takes power but it comes with a price tag. The three deputies shown the door will walk away with severance packages totalling more than $500,000, monies paid by -- you guessed it -- taxpayers.


They say democracy isn't always pretty, but it isn't cheap either.
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About the Author

Brian DuBreuil is a veteran journalist with CBC News. He has won two Gemini awards for his work, and neither involved dancing or singing on a reality show.

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