May­ors score a $20,000 pay rise

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - BEN PIKE

SIX may­ors have scored whop­ping pay in­creases of as much as 32 per cent, while their coun­cil­lors will trouser up to 20 per cent more.

How­ever those con­tacted said they don’t do the job for the money, which will no doubt be a com­fort to their ratepay­ers.

May­ors at six lo­cal coun­cils are now el­i­gi­ble for pay rises be­tween $12,730 and $20,690, thanks to a land­mark rul­ing by the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Re­mu­ner­a­tion Tri­bunal, made on May 12. May­ors at Liver­pool, Fair­field, Sutherland, Lake Mac­quarie, New­cas­tle and Wol­lon­gong can now legally re­ceive pay in­creases of be­tween 15 and 32 per cent. Coun­cil­lors in th­ese ar­eas are el­i­gi­ble to re­ceive pay rises be­tween 8 and 20 per cent.

Th­ese in­creases are way above the 2.5 per cent cap on pub­lic sec­tor wages brought in by the state gov­ern­ment.

The large pay in­creases are be­cause of a shake-up in the way coun­cils are clas­si­fied fol­low­ing amal­ga­ma­tion in 2016.

When con­tacted by The Sun­day Tele­graph and told of his max­i­mum 32 per cent pay in­crease, Fair­field in­de­pen­dent Mayor Frank Car­bone said: “Oh wow.”

“We do not do the job for the money and there is a lot of re­spon­si­bil­ity,” Mr Car­bone, who now earns $62,090, said.

Liver­pool La­bor Mayor Wendy Waller, who now earns $63,640, con­firmed the coun­cil had lob­bied for a change in the coun­cil’s clas­si­fi­ca­tion, which meant an in­crease in pay. “I don’t do this job for the money. I work more than 40 hours a week to get bet­ter out­comes for our com­mu­nity,” she said.

Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter Gabriel Up­ton re­fused to com­ment. Of­fice of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment spokes­woman Lindsay Ewens said the tri­bunal’s de­ci­sion was based on the cri­te­ria in the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Act.

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