Revelstoke city council does U-turn on massive pay hikes | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Revelstoke city council does U-turn on massive pay hikes

Image Credit: FACEBOOK/City of Revelstoke
February 12, 2020 - 3:30 PM

Mayor and councillors in Revelstoke won’t be seeing the huge pay hikes they awarded themselves last month, following a motion that puts the brakes on the whopping increases.

The controversial motion would have seen councillors receive a 67 per cent pay hike and the mayor a roughly 130 per cent pay increase. Councillor Steven Cross resigned over the matter.

However, at a special meeting Feb. 10, Revelstoke council unanimously passed a motion quashing the pay increases and asking staff to come back with a remuneration policy.

The original motion would have seen Mayor Gary Sulz get a roughly 130 per cent pay raise taking his salary from $30,600 to $70,000 a year. Councillors pay would have increased from $15,300 to $25,000 a year.

Former Coun. Steven Cross proposed a motion to defer the pay increases and put the money into the infrastructure budget. He lost the vote, Jan. 22, receiving his only support from Coun. Michael Brooks-Hill. Cross then resigning accusing council of putting their needs before the community.

Adding to the poor optics, around 100 City staff, members of CUPE 363, voted to strike days after council awarded themselves the salary increase. The union cited no “significant progress” since their collective agreement expired Dec. 31, 2018.

The new motion put forward by Coun. Cody Younker - who originally proposed the pay increases last fall - called to remove the pay hikes from the draft 2020 budget and for staff to develop a remuneration policy for the beginning of council’s next term.

Younker told the meeting he “stood behind” council receiving pay rises but "it was important to recognize that people had spoken."

Mayor Sulz read a prepared statement at the meeting saying historically pay for Revelstoke mayor and council had been lower than other communities.

“When we were elected we knew wages were low, however, moving forward we need to stop underpaying the people who are charged with making the decisions for the community,” Sulz said. “It is council responsibility to ensure that council remuneration is at least at industry standards, I believe that doing this through policy will ensure remuneration is equal to industry standards.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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