New Brunswick

Judges' retroactive salary increase rejected by province

The New Brunswick government has rejected a commission's call to give its provincial court judges four years worth of retroactive pay hikes.

Judicial remuneration commission recommended province court judges earn $241,800 a year

The New Brunswick Judicial Remuneration Commission recommended the salary of provincial court judges be increased to $241,800 a year and given four years worth of retroactive pay increases. (CBC)

The New Brunswick government has rejected a commission's call to give its provincial court judges four years worth of retroactive pay hikes.

The Judicial Remuneration Commission report, which was tabled in the Legislature on Wednesday, recommended retroactively increasing the salaries paid to judges to:
  • $215,000 a year, effective April 1, 2012
  • $223,600 a year, effective April 1, 2013
  • $232,500 a year, effective April 1, 2014
  • $241,800 a year, effective April 1, 2015

Provincial court judges have not had a pay increase since their salary was raised to $204,700 a year on April 1, 2009. At that time, New Brunswick judges ranked seventh in pay when compared to their counterparts across the country.

Since April 1, 2011, the salaries of judges in New Brunswick have ranked last in Canada.

Even though the provincial government dismissed the commission's recommendation on retroactive pay increases, judges should expect a pay increase next year.

The provincial government says effective April 1, 2015, the judges salary should be set at 80 per cent of the salary payable to judges of the Court of Queen's Bench.

A Court of Queen's Bench judge makes $308,600 a year, so that formula would put a provincial court judges salary at $246,880.

The remuneration commission's recommendations are not binding on the provincial government.

"In considering the recommendations of the JRC and in developing this response, the province has kept in mind the need to preserve judicial independence and feels that the proposed response ensures the judges a continued fair and reasonable standard of living, thereby providing financial security," the provincial government's response said.

The New Brunswick Provincial Court Judges Association must now review the provincial government's response and decide whether to ask for a judicial review.

If the association accepts the offer, the provincial government's proposed salary will start in April.

The provincial court website lists 32 provincial court judges, including 11 with supernumerary status who receive a salary but are in semi-retirement.

Two other judges are paid on a part-time basis.

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