Council approves a motion for a pay increase of 3.62 per cent (File Photo/Gerry Leibel)

Council approves a motion for a pay increase of 3.62 per cent (File Photo/Gerry Leibel)

Kitimat council passes motion to increase wages

Mayor and council will see an increase of 3.62 per cent based on the Consumer Price Index increase

Kitimat council passed a motion yesterday to up their pay based on the increase of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the period between Aug. 2019 to 2021.

From Aug. 2019 to 2020 the CPI increase was 0.15 per cent and from Aug. 2020 to 2021 it was 3.47 per cent , totalling an increase this year of 3.62 per cent.

The Mayor’s pay will go up by $1,632.62 totalling $46,732.58 yearly, and councillors will see a pay increase of 905.90 for a total of $25,930.82.

The proposed salary increase sparked a large debate during the weekly council meeting.

“To me, I think it’s appropriate to show leadership in our wage increase. I know it’s CPI but it’s a big number, I feel uncomfortable supporting this,” said councillor Mario Feldhoff during the meeting.

In past years Kitimat was considered as one of the lowest-paid councils in comparison to their counterparts in other cities. Recently, this number has increased to keep up with other cities.

“I recommend we continue with this model because we went through quite a lengthy process of trying to determine how remuneration in Kitimat could be in line with other communities and also in line with the amount of work we do in Kitimat,” said Councillor Lani Gibson.

One of the main points of the discussion looked at the amount of time that the Mayor and Council were putting in every week between their weekly meetings along with the committees they sit on citing that work weeks for them could be upwards of 20 hours. The hope is to attract a more diverse group of people looking to run for Council and make it more appealing to put in the hours with this pay increase.

Discussion continued around if the pay increase was fair in comparison to the pay increases of other unions in the city. Ultimately the motion was passed with a vote of four to two.