Councilor salary: from $53,095 to $53,785
Mayor salary: from $121,676 to $123,257
The method for determining any council salary increases was developed by the Citizen Committee on Council Remuneration in 2013. The formula limits increases to no greater than 65% of the average increase in the Ontario consumer price index (CPI) for the previous 12 months from October to September. Further, the increase cannot be greater than the increase for non-union staff; no increase is granted if CPI is less than 1%; and if an increase is not taken a particular year, it can’t be carried forward to future years.
The average annual change in the Ontario CPI, October 2013 to September 2014 was 2%. Thus, the formula generates an increase of 1.3% (65% of 2.0%).
Burlington councillors are also regional councillors. The Region of Halton formula averages the Ontario CPI and the Toronto CPI figures. The Regional adjustment will be based on 2.1% resulting in a salary of $47,280 effective January 1, 2015.
Council sitting as the Community & Corporate Services Committee on Jan. 20 approved the increase. The increase was ratified by council Jan. 26.
Resources: Read the staff report on the increase here: Jan. 20 Community & Corporate Services Committee, agenda item 4
My Take: I supported the increase as a nominal adjustment to keep salaries in line with inflation, and based on the work done by the citizen’s committee to develop a thoughtful and reasonable adjustment formula. In previous years I have not supported the adjustment as in some cases it was more than the staff increase, was playing catch up for previous years, or was contrary to council’s position of freezing staff salaries and limiting tax increases after several years of increases well above inflation. Those conditions were not present this year.