Fredericton council considers pay hike

·3 min read
The City of Fredericton is spending 2.9 million dollars to upgrade its internal finance and human resources systems.  (Gary Moore/CBC - image credit)
The City of Fredericton is spending 2.9 million dollars to upgrade its internal finance and human resources systems. (Gary Moore/CBC - image credit)

Councillors at the city of Fredericton will consider giving themselves a hefty pay boost at Monday night's council meeting.

Council is considering a hike that would see the mayor's pay, including salary and allowances, go from $71,507 to $87,148. A 22.5 per cent rise and a difference of more than $15,000.

Councillors would see their wages rise by $9,000, from $26,078 to $35,000 a year, a 34 per cent increase. And the deputy mayor would fall in the middle, going from $30,000 to $43,000.

A total of $128,994.62 for all of council.

Mayor Kate Rogers and each councillor were contacted by CBC. No one would comment before it goes to council.

"The mayor will not speak to remuneration until after Monday night's council meeting and a report is presented to city councillors," said city spokesperson Elizabeth Fraser in an email.

In 2019, after the federal government axed a tax break that municipal politicians received for part of their income, council hired an independent consultant, Kevin Malone, to review council's wages.

Malone's report recommended that compensation for the mayor, deputy mayor and councillors climb to the median level of comparable municipalities in the Maritimes.

At the time, that meant an increase of 13.5 per cent in the mayor's salary and 29 per cent in the councillors' paycheques. The recommendation would have seen the mayor's annual salary rise by more than $8,000 to $79,584; that of deputy mayor would have risen from $8,000 to $38,920 and a councillor's pay would climb almost $7,000 to $32,600.

Back in 2019 council decided to defer the decision until after the election, which was supposed to take place in 2020, but delayed until 2021 because of the pandemic.

What council is looking at now outstrips the Malone recommendation, but would bring Fredericton's council in line with what councillors and mayors in Moncton and Saint John earn.

Jon Collicott/CBC
Jon Collicott/CBC

According to the agenda for Monday night's meeting, council also looked at the Elected Officials' Compensation Guide created by the Association francophone des municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick in coming up with the new pay scale.

According to the formula used, which took into consideration the services provided by the municipality such as arenas, pools, snow removal and police and fire service, as well as the government services located within the city, such as hospitals and universities, the size of the city and the average tax base per resident, the pay scale could actually be even higher.

"The total number of points for the City of Fredericton, as per the guide is 12," reads the report.

Given that, the scale moves all the way up to $105,000 for the mayor, $47,250 for the deputy mayor and $42,000 for councillors.

"Other than for the Mayor, the median amount suggested from the Malone report also falls within those ranges," says the agenda report.

Under city bylaw A-16 councillors already get an annual increase based on the consumer price-index for New Brunswick.

Though the 2019 Malone report also noted that council hadn't had a meaningful increase in compensation since 2010.

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