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Union not told about province’s plan to tie MLA pay raises to average civil service pay increases

For Immediate Release

Posted: April 4, 2013


The President of the PEI Union of Public Sector Employees, Debbie Bovyer, says “the union was not informed about government’s move to tie MLA pay raises to civil service employee raises. I’m not sure I understand the province’s intention with this move beyond looking for a convenient way to deflect or avoid public scrutiny regarding MLA pay raises.”

President Bovyer says “eliminating the Indemnities and Allowances Commission will not achieve the Premier’s stated aims. He claims that tying MLA pay increases to civil service increases will ensure MLA’s have no influence over their own pay increases. I think that was the job of the Indemnities and Allowances Commission and now it’s being abolished unnecessarily. Public debate about MLA pay increases has not been about the effectiveness of the Commission so much as it has been about whether the public wants MLA’s to accept pay increases recommended by the Commission.”

“One might also argue that tying MLA pay increases to civil service employee raises provides MLA’s some measure of influence in determining their own increases. The executive branch of government has influence and decision making power at the bargaining table when it comes to negotiating civil service employee wages. The government can approve or not approve proposals put forward by the unions. Being aware that public service wage increases negotiated at the table will also be their own wage increases, creates a conflict of interest for government members,” explained President Bovyer.

UPSE and a number of unions representing civil service employees are scheduled to meet with Minister Sheridan on April 4, 2013 at the request of the Minister to discuss the province’s financial situation in relation to upcoming bargaining. The union would also like to add to the agenda a discussion about the province’s latest move to abolish the Indemnities and Allowances Commission in an effort to tie MLA pay increases to increases for civil service employees achieved through collective bargaining.

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Please contact Mark Barrett at 892-5335 (or toll-free at 1-800- 897-8773) to arrange an interview.