Teacher shocked by MLA’s pay hike

  • Nov. 23, 2005 6:00 p.m.

The announcement of a 15-percent pay raise for Members of the Legislative Assembly and 22-percent for the Premier drew the ire of Queen Charlotte teacher Evelyn von Almassy.
She said it was unbelievable and wrote a letter to MLA Gary Coons to express her dismay. (The bill has since been repealed with Bill 19, introduced on November 21).
“After hearing ad nauseum, during our teachers’ job action, from the provincial government that the public sector were not receiving any raises, what headlines do I seeÂ…” she wrote before Bill 17 was repealed.
Mr. Coons told the Observer he got a lot of other feedback from constituents, most of it negative.
The salary raise was presented as part of a package, including significant benefits to constituency offices. His, like other offices, were to receive a $35,000 budget increase, as well as an extra $5,000 per MLA to each caucus for support operations.
Mr. Coons said the money would have been used for outreach, communications and other incentives, including an increased presence in outlying areas like Haida Gwaii.
“I did vote for the package and realize it was a big mistake. I have to take responsibility. In the months and years to come, I have a big chore in rebuilding people’s faith and trust,” he said.
The topic of pay increases likely won’t come up for quite a while, said Mr. Coons.
“Obviously, it needed a full public review,” he said.