Pay in­crease for coun­cil­lors

South Waikato News - - Your Place, Your Paper - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

South Waikato District Coun­cil­lors are in for a pay in­crease af­ter new changes from the Re­mu­ner­a­tion Author­ity were voted for.

A vote to in­crease the salaries of elected mem­bers of coun­cil was passed at a re­cent coun­cil meet­ing.

The move was in re­sponse to changes made by the Re­mu­ner­a­tion Author­ity for con­sid­er­a­tion for 2016 to 2017.

The Re­mu­ner­a­tion Author­ity is the in­de­pen­dent statu­tory body re­spon­si­ble for set­ting elected mem­ber re­mu­ner­a­tion.

This would take the max­i­mum to­tal value of all elected mem­ber re­mu­ner­a­tion up to $377,679 from $353,899.

The pool is avail­able to each coun­cil to pro­vide ad­di­tional pay for mem­bers who take on ad­di­tional re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

Cur­rently the fund is capped at 150 per cent of the base coun­cil­lor salary for the years 2015 to 2016.

The change will in­crease this cap to 200 per cent in­creas­ing the base salary.

The change would give an 8.4 per cent in­crease to coun­cil­lors from a re­mu­ner­a­tion pool of $45,510.

This in­cludes a 2.5 per cent in­crease for the Ti­rau Com­mu­nity mem­bers.

Mayor Neil Sin­clair said it was a strange time to vote on the in­crease with the lo­cal elec­tions due this year.

‘‘We have no idea what the com­mit­tee struc­ture will be like from Oc­to­ber but who ques­tions the way of our great fathers who live in Welling­ton.’’

He said the new struc­ture would meet the in­creased work­load of elected mem­bers.

‘‘We’ve long com­plained to gov­ern­ment that the work­load and the role of coun­cil is not un­der­stood.

‘‘We have to do it now but there will be a change,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s good to see the gov­er­nance has recog­nised the work that coun­cils do.’’

Coun­cil­lor Bill Machen said the pay had al­ways been low but he didn’t do the job for the money.

‘‘The hourly rate was poor years ago.

‘‘But I feel that you ac­cept that’s it’s not for the money, but it’s what’s best for the com­mu­nity and the area.’’

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Craig Hobbs said un­der the cur­rent struc­ture the change has to be done.

Coun­cils around the coun­try were mak­ing sim­i­lair votes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.