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No January pay hike for Coquitlam politicians

Elected officials in Coquitlam won’t be getting their usual pay hike come Jan. 1.  - TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO
Elected officials in Coquitlam won’t be getting their usual pay hike come Jan. 1.
— image credit: TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

Elected officials in Coquitlam won’t be getting their usual pay hike come Jan. 1.

Over the past few years, remuneration for the mayor and councillors typically went up to match the civic union workers’ contract of 3% to 4% annually.

But with the collective agreement ending tomorrow (Dec. 31), Coquitlam politicians will not see an increase in their salaries in the new year, said city clerk Jay Gilbert.

Still, “there may be some minor inflation-related changes that arise as part of the calculation of other reported expenses/allowances,” Gilbert said, adding once a new union contract is finalized, “there is the possibility of retroactive pay if an increase has been negotiated.”

Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart receives around $119,000 a year plus $8,000 in transportation allowances while city councillors reap about $53,800 annually as well as a $3,500 transportation bonus for acting mayoralty duties.

In Port Coquitlam, Pardeep Purewal, the city’s manager of communications and administrative services, said an adjustment is made every year to council’s remuneration based on the average salary of four similar-sized municipalities.

“The calculation is possible once the other municipalities have set their council rates [in the new year],” she said.

In 2010, PoCo city council created a firestorm of controversy when it approved a 27% pay increase for Mayor Greg Moore (to around $85,400) and a 42% wage jump for councillors (to about $31,600). The move was intended to bring their salaries in line with other jurisdictions.

And in Port Moody, spokesperson Leslyn Johnson said council members’ indemnities will go up in the new year according to 2011 inflation though, she said, “we won’t know that CPI indexing factor until late January or so when it has been published by Statistics Canada.”

Currently, Mayor Mike Clay’s remuneration is $70,358 a year while councillors are paid 35% of the mayor’s indemnification, at $24,626 annually.

jwarren@tricitynews.com

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