Salary Increase for Councillors Minimal

18 March 2010

Councillors agreed to a slight increase to their salaries at today's Strategy and Policy Committee meeting. The increase, once approved by the Remuneration Authority, will take effect from 1 July 2010.

When Councillors last year voted not to accept a salary increase for the 2009/10 financial year, due to the economic situation at the time, a saving of $20,503 to the city's ratepayers was achieved.

The Remuneration Authority has determined that there will be no increase to the size of the remuneration pool for the 2010/11 financial year from that offered in 2009/2010 - but that this time the full pool must be allocated.

The Council's Governance Portfolio Leader, Councillor Ian McKinnon says "we accept that there is no increase in the total pool, and this remains consistent with what we tried to achieve when our pay came up for review last year".

"Last year, we were considerably concerned by people losing jobs or taking massive pay cuts all around the city, so we collectively refused a salary raise. While this year the Remuneration Authority has given us no choice but to allocate the full remuneration pool, we're pleased that it is in fact a minimal increase. The recession, as far as we can see, is not quite over," says Cr McKinnon.

The Remuneration Authority has also determined that the Mayor's salary will remain at its current level for the 2010/11 financial year.

Councillors getting the highest raise this year are those who have no chair or portfolio responsibilities - Councillors Helene Ritchie, Rob Goulden, Jo Coughlan and Bryan Pepperell. This is in response to a request from the Remuneration Authority for the Council to consider minimising the current gap in pay between those with portfolios and those without.

Assuming the increase in pay for Councillors is approved by the Remuneration Authority, it will take effect on 1 July as follows:

Elected member               Now           From 1 July

Mayor Kerry Prendergast        $153,660     $153,660

Deputy Mayor Ian McKinnon    $106,720     $107,615

Councillor Andy Foster              $86,456       $88,409

Councillor Celia Wade-Brown     $86,456       $87,510

Councillor John Morrison            $86,456       $87,510

Councillor Ngaire Best               $86,456       $87,510

Councillor Ray Ahipene-Mercer   $86,456       $87,510

Councillor Leonie Gill                 $83,325       $84,345

Councillor Iona Pannett              $73,325       $74,220

Councillor Hayley Wain               $73,325       $74,220

Councillor Stephanie Cook          $73,325       $74,220

Councillor Rob Goulden               $67,114       $69,240

Councillor Bryan Pepperell          $67,114       $69,240

Councillor Helene Ritchie             $67,114       $69,240

Councillor Jo Coughlan                $67,114       $69,240

This remuneration rate will stay in place until the results of the 2010 local body elections - to be held on 9 October - are officially notified. Then the salaries for all elected members, excluding the Mayor, will be reduced to a lower rate. This will be in place until the incoming Council decides its governance structure and an amended salary proposal. Once the Remuneration Authority approves the Council's proposal, the new salary rates, including any back pay required, will apply through to June 2011.