The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is urging Premier Jason Kenney to continue standing up for taxpayers by reducing government employee pay in response to the information pickets being held across Alberta today.
“Kenney is right to stand up for taxpayers and push government employees to help shoulder the burden of the downturn,” said Franco Terrazzano, Federal Director with the CTF. “It’s not fair to ask families struggling through years of pay cuts and job losses to pay higher taxes because government union bosses aren’t willing to share in the burden and take a cut.”
The Alberta government’s debt is expected to pass $100 billion this year. Labour costs make up more than half of the government’s operating budget.
“Alberta’s total spending on public sector compensation would be approximately $3 billion less every year if it matched the average spending of these [comparable] provinces,” according to the government’s 2020 budget.
The Alberta government is asking its employees to take a three or four per cent wage cut. The last broad based Alberta government pay cut was a five per cent reduction in 1994, according to research from Secondstreet.org.
“If you received a three or four per cent hair cut in Alberta’s private sector, you were one of the fortunate ones during the downturn, but the last broad government pay cut was decades ago,” said Terrazzano. “Albertans appreciate the hard work during COVID-19, but struggling families and businesses can’t afford higher taxes so government employees need to take a pay cut.”