Bayside Councillors have voted themselves a four per cent pay rise but not without opposition amongst the ranks.
The Local Government Remuneration Tribunal, which sets fees to be paid to mayors and councillors annually, recently handed down its determination for 2022/2023 for a two per cent increase over the fees set last year.
The Tribunal also set the minimum and maximum range for each category of Councils.
In 2021/22, Council decided not to increase the fees to the Mayor and Councillors.
"Effectively this means that while the Tribunal determined an increase of two per cent over the 2021/22 fees, should Council resolve to take up its full entitlement, its increase will be effectively by four per cent," a report by council staff said.
The council's common practice of accepting the fee increase
The council report presented at last night's (June 22) meeting recommended that the annual fee for Councillors for 2022/2023 be set at the maximum for a Metropolitan Large council as determined by theTribunal.
Annual Councillor fees for 2022/23 for a Metropolitan Large council can range from a Minimum of $19,180 to a Maximum $31,640.
The mayor's additional annual fee for 2022/23 will be set at the maximum level permitted.
For a Metropolitan Large Council the mayoral fee can range from a Minimum of $40,740 to a Maximum of $92,180.
Current annual fees for councillors are $30,410 and for the mayor $88,600.
Bayside Mayor, Dr Christina Curry also moved that the council pay the deputy mayor in addition to a councillor fee an amount equal to 10 per cent of the mayor's fee for the times when the deputy mayor acts in the role of the mayor.
This would be deducted from the mayor's annual fee.
Councillor Joe Awada said councillors should support the four per cent increase. If some don't want to accept the increase they could donate it to charity, he said.
But Cr Liz Barlow said a four per cent increase is higher than teachers or nurses who have just received a three per cent increase.
Councillors should leave it as it is another year, she said.
"You are not a councillor for the money," Cr Barlow said.
"You are here to serve the community. The money is a bonus but you shouldn't be here if you think it's going to be your pay."
Mayor Curry said the council last year didn't take any increase because of COVID.
The four per cent increase brings fees back in line with the standard increase which occurs yearly and is determined externally by the Tribunal, she said.
Cr Mark Hanna said the fee range for the council is $19,180 to $31,640.
Cr Curry said there is a methodology determined by the size of the council.
Cr Hanna said, "But we shouldn't go to the top of the range all the time."
He added the superannuation payments due tor councillors from July 1 will add 10.5 per cent on top of these costs.
Cr Barlow added,"You are voting for a four per cent increase which is greater than the increase for nurses and teachers."
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