Salary increase for CK advisers under discussion on Monday evening

A possible pay raise for Chatham-Kent councilors will be discussed at Monday evening’s meeting.

City councilors will discuss a recommendation from a citizen review committee that would increase annual compensation for the next term of council.

With the proposed changes, the annual salary for advisers would increase to $36,900 per year from 2022 to 2026, from about $33,963 per year. Further increases for this same period would be linked to the Canadian annual inflation rate.

“The committee recommended that there be no change to the base mayor’s fee, but that the base councilor’s fee be increased by $2,937 to bring the total to $36,900 per year,” the report said. .

The report also suggests the introduction of a benefits plan that would cover up to $1,200 in health care costs for each council member.

“The Counselor position is a part-time position, therefore, traditionally, they are not entitled to the same benefits package as our non-union classification,” the report states. Advisors currently have the ability to purchase life insurance, extended health care and dental benefits out of pocket at their own expense.

The recommendation would replace optional benefits with a health care spending account. It would be used to reimburse eligible medical expenses that meet Canada Revenue Agency rules.

“Historically serving on a local council has been a voluntary undertaking, however, municipalities have come to recognize the more permanent nature of municipal public service and have expanded the range of compensation and benefits they offer,” says The report. “Many advisors should be more accessible and responsive than in the past.”

The changes would add $79,688 to the 2023 base budget. If passed, the new salaries will take effect November 15, 2022.

William M. Mayer