North Perth council remuneration to increase

NORTH PERTH – An addendum to the Ward & Uptigrove’s Council Remuneration Options report that was reviewed at the previous council meeting on Nov. 7, was presented by Kelly Fraser, human resources team lead, at the North Perth council meeting at Nov. 14.

Ward & Uptigrove Human Resources Solutions performed a review of council remuneration over the past couple of years. The overall findings are that North Perth’s honorariums are slightly behind the median.

“North Perth’s annual council spending is much higher than its comparators. This is largely because North Perth has more members of council than its comparators,” stated the Ward & Uptigrove report.

It was also found that North Perth’s council has a higher workload than other councils.

“North Perth is a municipality experiencing significant population growth and delivers more services than many of its comparators. As a result, we believe a strategic review of council remuneration to ensure current practices contribute to the municipality’s goals and objectives may be timely,” explained the report.

There were three reports conducted to provide different approaches for remuneration: 2020 Ward & Uptigrove Report, the 2021 Citizen’s Task Force Report and the 2022 Addendum,

“All three reports recommend increases for all three council positions; however, using different compensation/market approaches. As North Perth faces its next election, it should carefully consider its needs into the next four years of council and beyond. Workload for future terms of office will vary,” stated the Ward & Uptigrove report.

There were issues raised at the previous meeting on Nov. 7, that the remuneration options did not incorporate 2022 indexed numbers, which was then updated for the Nov. 14 meeting.

The 2022 Council Remuneration bylaw is aligned with the 2020 Staff Compensation Review median. The revised remuneration increases current remuneration to reflect cost of living expenses, inflation, etc. as well as competing with other current regional council remunerations. For the mayor of North Perth, the new remuneration is $34,394. For the deputy mayor it is $21,737, and for councillors it is $19,787.

“The Council Remuneration bylaw has been updated to capture council honorariums to the median results of Ward & Uptigrove’s compensation review,” stated the report.

The financial implications for this increase in remuneration is a total of $27,645.

The bylaw was carried at the Nov. 14 meeting, with seven voting in favour and one against, and will take effect just in time for the new council, which will officially take office during its inaugural meeting on Nov. 21.

Melissa Dunphy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner