London committee to mull over 2.3% inflation-based salary increase
A handful of city politicians will mull over whether to give themselves, the mayor, and citizens who sit on city boards and commissions a 2.3 per cent inflation-tied increase.
City staff is recommending the increase in a report going before the corporate services committee meeting Tuesday afternoon.
A 2.3 per cent increase would raise councillors’ annual pay — before taxes — from $51,181 to $52,358. Similarly, the mayor’s pay would go from $138,025 to $141,200.
But Ward 7 Coun. Josh Morgan says the optics aren’t great since the debate comes just months after elected officials and appointed citizens received a separate “course correction” increase.
“We had an independent third-party panel make recommendations and council really didn’t interfere in those recommendations and basically accepted them all. They had a had hands-off process,” he explained.
That increase, which took effect in December, lifted salaries to match London’s full-time median income.
“To then make an inflationary-based correction for a salary that was just course corrected only a few months after is not the appropriate way to do this,” said Morgan.
Morgan is suggesting councillors forgo the inflation-based increase this year, but continue to revisit it on an annual basis moving forward.
Ward 12 Coun. Elizabeth Peloza, who doesn’t sit on the committee, is also asking her colleagues to consider removing home internet from a list of eligible councillor expenses.
In a letter to corporate services, she says home internet was considered a “luxury” when the expense account policy was originally implemented, and that 87 per cent of Canadians reported having home internet in 2013.
Peloza says councillors are also provided with cell phones, which can be turned into internet hot spots if internet services are needed.
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