A BC political watchdog organization is questioning why those responsible for a compensation review at Vancouver City Hall appeared to selectively pick the other cities involved for a comparative analysis of wages.
Dermod Travis with Integrity BC says the review panel didn’t include four of the ten largest cities in Canada.
“And by failing to do that they’ve excluded Montreal, Brampton, Hamilton, Quebec City. They’ve also excluded other possibilities to look at such as Regina, Halifax, St. Johns, Newfoundland, and Labrador.”
Councillors voted to give themselves an $8,900 dollar pay raise, bringing their salaries to around $80 thousand a year.
The city says it’s the median average of what Councillors make in other cities across Canada.
The analysis found Calgary Councillors earn $115,000, Ottawa $94,000, and Mississauga $84,465 a year.
“It causes the automatic fear that they’ve cherry picked the data in order to justify their salary increase.”
Travis adds that by salting the list of selected cities with other local municipalities, the Vancouver move could push salaries up across the region.
“Also by picking three cities in British Columbia outside of Vancouver being Surrey, Burnaby and Richmond, what you end up doing, and this has happened at the Chief Administrative Officer level as well in local government, is that you create a marketplace in British Columbia where other councils will now look at the salary given to Vancouver city Councillors and say well if they’re getting that, we should get that.”
The move was recommended by an independent panel struck by the city last year, which reported back to council last December.
The panel was comprised of:
- Elaine Doyle, Labour Mediator/Arbitrator (Committee Chair)
- Steve Butz, President and CEO, YMCA of Greater Vancouver
- Ida Goodreau, Adjunct Faculty, UBC; Corporate Director; and Former CEO, Vancouver Coastal Health
- Jim Sinclair, Former President, BC Federation of Labour
With files from Simon Little