NDP

Lowest paid workers left behind as McNeil provides inner circle with generous salaries and appointments

July 25, 2016


HALIFAX – NDP Leader Gary Burrill is raising concerns about high level staff appointments given that Stephen McNeil is unwilling to discuss increasing the province’s minimum wage to $15 per hour.

“Stephen McNeil won’t even entertain the idea of raising wages for the province’s lowest paid workers, but he will go to any lengths to ensure his own staff members are compensated in the very upper brackets,” said Burrill.

Emails provided through a freedom of information request filed by the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union released yesterday show that Marilla Stephenson was consulted about a job description for a position she later filled. Stephenson was the only applicant for the position, which was posted internally to staff of the Executive Council Office.

Stephenson’s annual salary as managing director of corporate and external affairs is now $106,000, up from her previous salary of $83,000 for a contract on the province’s oneNS Coalition.  An op-ed in Local Xpress last week revealed that several staff close to Stephen McNeil have received significant pay increases.

“There’s a clear pattern emerging here,” said Burrill. “People in Stephen McNeil’s inner circle are rewarded with generous salaries and appointments, while thousands of hard-working people in the province are left to fend for themselves.”

“It’s reasonable for the 130,000 workers who make under $15 per hour to expect the Premier to explain why they, too, don’t deserve a raise,” said Burrill.

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For more information, contact Kaley Kennedy at 902-229-6881.