Delta's mayor and council will see a pay increase which is adjusted based on the remuneration of comparable sized municipalities.

Delta's mayor and council will see a pay increase which is adjusted based on the remuneration of comparable sized municipalities.

Delta council votes itself a pay raise

Remuneration rates are set by a calculated average of four comparable sized municipalities

Delta council voted 6-0 on Monday to give its members a raise.

Effective Jan. 1, 2014, councillors will now earn a remuneration rate of $48,734, a 2.5 per cent increase from the last time rates were increased in 2012. Mayor Lois Jackson will earn $113,832, a 2.9 per cent increase from her earlier rate.

According to a staff report prepared by Delta’s human resources and corporate planning department,¬† salaries are based on a comparison of four other Metro Vancouver municipalities of comparable population sizes.

The mayor’s new salary is based on the average of the mayors of Coquitlam, Langley Township, Richmond, and the District of North Vancouver as of Jan. 1, 2014. The highest-paid mayor of the four¬† is Coquitlam’s Richard Stewart, who earns $119,383, while the lowest is North Vancouver’s Richard Walton, who receives $97,353.

Councillor remuneration rates were based on the same average, with Coquitlam’s council members earning the most at $56,434, and North Vancouver’s taking home the least, with $38,941.

Coun. Scott Hamilton was not present for the vote, nor has he collected a salary since becoming elected MLA for Delta North in May 2013.

The report notes that Delta is the largest municipality in the province that continues to employ a mayor and only six councillors. It is normal practice for municipalities with a population above 50,000 to employ eight councillors.

The mayor’s salary is now 28.7 per cent higher than it was in 2008, while councillor wages have risen 34.3 per cent over the same time period.

According to Statistics Canada, the median family income in Canada rose 1.4 per cent between 2008 and 2011, the height of the economic downturn. Income for unattached individuals declined by 3.4 per cent over the same time period.

Surrey North Delta Leader