The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today commended the B.C. Government for scrapping a scheduled pay raise for the third and fourth straight years.
“When governments are bleeding red ink, everyone needs to do their part,” said Jordan Bateman, the CTF’s B.C. Director. “MLAs need to lead by example and freezing their pay for four straight years is a great start.”
The pay freeze was extended as part of last month’s B.C. budget legislation. Despite that fact, the B.C. Teachers Federation has been wrongly claiming that MLAs are getting a pay increase.
“One of the B.C. Teachers Federation’s key talking points through social media is that MLAs are getting raises and teachers aren’t,” said Bateman. “That’s just plain false. MLAs and thousands of other public sector employees are living with the net zero wage mandate—why not teachers?”
The net zero wage mandate saved B.C. taxpayers $3 billion this fiscal year. “Net zero is the single best thing this government has done to control costs,” said Bateman. “It’s been such an important tool that even free-spending governments like Ontario want to emulate it.”
The Ontario Government announced last week it wants to freeze teacher pay for at least two years and plans to eliminate some of their benefits package, specifically the ability to cash-in unused sick leave.
“Ontario’s huge deficit should be a warning to B.C. taxpayers about simply throwing money at problems or loud interest groups,” said Bateman. “We simply cannot afford to continue increasing every public sector employee’s pay and benefits forever.”
The B.C. cabinet has gone even further than a simple pay freeze, taking a 10 per cent pay cut when the province is in deficit.
“While we have continuing concerns about MLA pensions and other pay issues, one has to give credit where credit is due,” said Bateman. “It’s clear that cabinet feels the pinch of deficit budgets in their own lives and that’s an example that the CTF has encouraged other provinces, and levels of government, to follow.”
By Jordan Bateman
B.C. Director, Canadian Taxpayers Federation