The NDP government has updated the Sunshine list that details those staff under agencies, boards and commissions, often referred to as the ABC’s, earning $125 thousand a year or more. It’s now consolidated and searchable online.
Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman says Albertans deserve to have a clear sense of how government funds are spent.
“So we’re making it easier for Albertans to find compensation information for public sector bodies in one place. We’ve created a new database which contains the consolidated information in a searchable grid. Another priority for our government is to increase transparency and consistency in how executives of provincial agencies, boards and commissions are compensated.”
Hoffman says a number of people in Alberta are making exceptional salaries, out of step with the public sector and other provinces. She blames the previous PC administration.
“For too long there have been wide discrepancies in compensation practices between the public service and our province’s agencies, boards and commissions, and we believe this did not happen by accident. So to be clear, salaries at many of these organizations are out of step because the PC government recklessly approved improper compensation for their appointees and executives.”
Hoffman says the next phase of the NDP’s transparency plan is to ensure employment and severance contracts are disclosed for some executives of ABC’s.
“The contract disclosure will be aligned with the work already underway to standardize compensation practices in public sector bodies. The most recent contracts for the employees within the office of the ministers and the premier are already online. Our government believes that it’s important to keep Albertans informed as to how their public sector operates and a significant part of that is knowing where their tax dollars are being spent.”
Hoffman says the NDP legislation will bring these exceptional salaries back in line.
“There will be a process that is being led by corporate human resources to carry out this review and we’ll be able to update you and all Albertans in due time, but certainly this is step one and step two is to make sure they are in line with fair compensation.”
When it comes to salaries paid to university professors Hoffman says Albertans can now access some University salaries online. She says it’s not fair for politicians to directly make decisions about salaries, which is why there’s the committee set up to review pay structures.
A University of Calgary nanotechnology researcher, earned $737,000 in pay and other benefits last year, while former University of Alberta president Indira Samarasekera took home about $584,000.