While both the SaskParty and NDP can agree on a 3.5 per cent wage rollback for its members, the opposition wants to take things a step further.
Nobody from the NDP attended a meeting of the Board of Internal Economy Wednesday, which meant that meeting couldn’t go ahead without the opposition. In order for the Wall government to make the rollback to MLA salaries, the meeting had to take place.
“We cannot, in any way, be seen to rubber stamp a scheme by this government that’s got us in this situation to force a wage cut on working families, men and women, in this province,” said NDP MLA David Forbes on the rollback potential affecting the broader public sector as well.
He said members will take the cut, but they also want to see their other demands met. Those include members of the SaskParty cabinet taking an additional 20 per cent reduction in salary, along with the government reducing the number of MLAs by five.
“This is pretty unusual what happened,” said Economy Minister Jeremy Harrison on the absence of the NDP from the meeting. “But if the opposition refused to attend board meetings there are mechanisms the government has at its disposal that we will utilize.”
“We would prefer to do this in the collaborative way but if the opposition refused to cooperate and refused to come to Board of Internal Economy meetings, we’ll find another way to make it happen,” said Harrison with no further explanation.
Beyond the MLA wage rollback, the minister said cabinet members would also be willing to take an additional 3.5 per cent cut. Harrison said that would translate into more than $5,000 for ministers and about $3,300 for MLAs.