CENTRE WELLINGTON ‒ Pay raises reflecting the fact council is currently underpaid may be part of Centre Wellington's 2024 budget.
In a new report being presented to council on Monday, staff are recommending that the mayor and council receive an approximate 13 per cent salary increase in the 2024 budget.
If approved, both the mayor and councillors official salaries will increase to $53,397 and $28,072, respectively.
"It is common practice to increase the annual base pay for elected official positions annually by the amount used to adjust the employee salary grid," said the staff in the report. "This allows for a year-over-year increase to align with cost-of-living increases; also supported by the survey results."
According to the 2023 budget, Mayor Shawn Watters will make $47,286 this year, 13 per cent below what is considered a reasonable pay target.
Each councillor will earn $23,716 in 2023, 18.4 per cent below what is considered reasonable.
For reference, a mayor's annual base pay rates range from $36,811 in Wilmot to $107,469 in Halton Hills while councillors' wages range from $18,268 in Pelham to $46,941 in King.
"Centre Wellington is committed to paying fair and competitive remuneration to its elected officials in recognition of the valuable service they provide to the community and the complexity and importance of the issues they manage," said the report. "Fair and competitive salaries also assist to attract and retain a diverse pool of citizens to municipal public service."
In October 2021, staff sought direction from council for a 2022 Council Compensation Review. However, council decided not to conduct a salary review at the time and was instead directed to receive increases for the 2022 year in alignment with staff cost of living increases.
Going forward, staff are also proposing a joint council and staff compensation market review every four years to ensure rates remain consistent with the market.
Isabel Buckmaster is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.