County council salaries up 2.1 per cent, non-union staff could see 1.75-per-cent increase

Adam Bramburger

Beaver Staff

Lennox and Addington County councillors will see their salaries increase 2.1 per cent for 2018, while their non-union staff are poised to see their wages increase by 1.75 per cent April 1 pending budgetary approval.

At Wednesday’s working session meeting, councillors received a report from director of financial and physical services Stephen Fox that outlined their new wages as set by council’s rules of procedure, directing those salaries to be indexed to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Canada wide, for November.

The change means a $599 increase for Warden Bill Lowry to $29,108 and $337 increases for the other seven members of council, to $16,066. Councillors’ full-day per diem increases 4.32 to $209.56 and their half-day per diem increases $2.16 to $104.78.

Councillors’ mileage rates also received a slight bump. Based on the Canada Revenue Agency’s automobile allowance rates, they increased one cent per kilometre. For the first $5,000 kilometres per year, councillors will make 55 cents. For travel above that threshold, they’ll receive 49 cents.

Fox indicated the financial impact for increased council renumeration will be about $3,000.

Council accepted its senior management team’s recommendation to increase non-union compensation as part of the development of the County’s 2018 operating budget.

Each year, management undertakes a wage review that strives to meet a series of objectives, namely: That a balance be maintained between non-union and union wage rates; that equity within the non-union wage group be maintained; that wage rates for full-time and part-time non-union staff fall within a grid system; the salary grid be cost effective; and the salary bid be competitive relative to market competitors.

Staff studied the CPI and its collective agreements for unionized paramedics, nurses, social services workers, and John M. Parrott Centre staff. It also took into account past history of non-union grid adjustments and comparables from 24 municipalities, including two local lower-tier municipalities.

In both of the past two years, the County increased its non-union salary grid by 1.75 per cent. Based on the comparables, the mean increase was 1.9 per cent and the average was 1.77.Locally, Hastings County has proposed a two-per-cent increase and Frontenac County a 1.75-per-cent increase. Prince Edward County approved a 1.49-cent increase. The cities of Belleville and Quinte West have approved increases of 1.75 and 1.74 per cent respectively. Greater Napanee has improved an increase of 1.6 per cent and Loyalist Township 1.8.

Traditionally, the increases and a step adjustment have been provided on April 1 of each year, pending approval of the County’s annual budget. If approved in the budget, the financial implications of the recommendation would be about $130,000.

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