Province freezes judges’ salaries
The Nova Scotia government has denied provincial and family court judges a hefty pay hike, instead freezing their salaries at $236,376 for two years.
A provincial tribunal had recommended a salary increase of about 9.5 per cent over three years — including a 5.4 per cent hike in the first year.
But the province rejected that — freezing the salary for two years before a one-per-cent hike in 2019-20.
It says it is giving the judges the same wage increase being given to Crown attorneys and proposed for public-sector workers.
It says that is also the funding increase for doctors.
The province also signalled its intention to freeze the accrual of judges’ public service award effective April 1.
“The salary increases recommended by the tribunal do not fit our economic situation and taxpayers’ ability to pay,’’ Finance Minister Randy Delorey said in a statement. “Instead, we have adopted a fair salary increase for judges that stays within the fiscal plan.
“Government has determined that this modified salary increase is reasonable, sufficient to attract excellent candidates for appointment as judges and respects the independence and critical role of the judiciary in our democracy.’’
In the last three years, judges’ salaries were hiked 3.8 per cent, 1.7 per cent and 0.4 per cent
The Nova Scotia Provincial Court Judges’ Association said it had not been formally notified of the province’s decision, saying only: “The association will not be making public comment at this time.’’
The tribunal is composed of three lawyers appointed under the Provincial Court Act.