Councillors say they do not want pay rise

Not able to refuse the increase.

Not able to refuse the increase.

GISBORNE district councillors are faced with a pay rise they do not want, thanks to a decision of the Remuneration Authority — but they agreed to increase the allowance given to deputy mayor Rehette Stoltz because of her increased workload.

The council approved a draft proposal from chief executive Judy Campbell, based on Remuneration Authority guidelines, that will see increases between 1.5 percent and 3 percent in the base payment for the mayor and councillors.

The base salary for the mayor has gone from $131,550 to $134,181, and for councillors from $35,600 to $36,312.

The five committee chairmen will be paid $43,574 and the two special committee chairmen $39,035. A rural councillor will get $37,136.

Democracy and support services manager Heather Kohn said the percentages awarded above the base salary were exactly the same as they had been in 2013.

The only change was that the percentage above the base salary for the deputy mayor was increased from 20 percent to 30 percent to recognise the extra workload.

Her salary will now be $47,205.

Apart from the deputy mayor, the percentages awarded above the base rate had stayed the same for the past three years. The base rate had been increased by the authority.

Money unspent in salary pool

The council had not spent all the money in the salary pool, which had been increased. There was $12,000 left unspent.

Although they approved a recommendation to approve the authority’s draft proposal, councillors were not happy at their pay rise.

Alan Davidson said he did not want this pay rise and asked why the council could not be allowed to retain the status quo.

Mrs Kohn said the authority had basically said the council could not refuse to accept the base line remuneration that had risen between 1.5 and 3 percent.

Pat Seymour said this was no different to decisions from the Higher Salaries Commission. If Mr Davidson did not want it, he could give some to the racing club (Mr Davidson is the president.)

Roger Haisman supported Mr Davidson. He thought councillors were possibly more than well paid for the time that went into it. It was typical of the cost-plus mentality that went on in local government.

“I accept we do not have any option but I don’t see any need for it. I believe we are well remunerated,” he said.

Mayor Meng Foon said if the council did not accept the increase, the gap with other councils would increase to a ridiculous level.

Larry Foster said this was about the time people put in to the position. There were a lot of things done outside the council environment that were confidential and were part of being a councillor.

“To me this is my job and I will put in as many hours as I can to achieve the goals ahead of me,” he said.

Craig Bauld said this kind of debate was entirely the reason the decision was taken away from councils and given to the Remuneration Authority.

GISBORNE district councillors are faced with a pay rise they do not want, thanks to a decision of the Remuneration Authority — but they agreed to increase the allowance given to deputy mayor Rehette Stoltz because of her increased workload.

The council approved a draft proposal from chief executive Judy Campbell, based on Remuneration Authority guidelines, that will see increases between 1.5 percent and 3 percent in the base payment for the mayor and councillors.

The base salary for the mayor has gone from $131,550 to $134,181, and for councillors from $35,600 to $36,312.

The five committee chairmen will be paid $43,574 and the two special committee chairmen $39,035. A rural councillor will get $37,136.

Democracy and support services manager Heather Kohn said the percentages awarded above the base salary were exactly the same as they had been in 2013.

The only change was that the percentage above the base salary for the deputy mayor was increased from 20 percent to 30 percent to recognise the extra workload.

Her salary will now be $47,205.

Apart from the deputy mayor, the percentages awarded above the base rate had stayed the same for the past three years. The base rate had been increased by the authority.

Money unspent in salary pool

The council had not spent all the money in the salary pool, which had been increased. There was $12,000 left unspent.

Although they approved a recommendation to approve the authority’s draft proposal, councillors were not happy at their pay rise.

Alan Davidson said he did not want this pay rise and asked why the council could not be allowed to retain the status quo.

Mrs Kohn said the authority had basically said the council could not refuse to accept the base line remuneration that had risen between 1.5 and 3 percent.

Pat Seymour said this was no different to decisions from the Higher Salaries Commission. If Mr Davidson did not want it, he could give some to the racing club (Mr Davidson is the president.)

Roger Haisman supported Mr Davidson. He thought councillors were possibly more than well paid for the time that went into it. It was typical of the cost-plus mentality that went on in local government.

“I accept we do not have any option but I don’t see any need for it. I believe we are well remunerated,” he said.

Mayor Meng Foon said if the council did not accept the increase, the gap with other councils would increase to a ridiculous level.

Larry Foster said this was about the time people put in to the position. There were a lot of things done outside the council environment that were confidential and were part of being a councillor.

“To me this is my job and I will put in as many hours as I can to achieve the goals ahead of me,” he said.

Craig Bauld said this kind of debate was entirely the reason the decision was taken away from councils and given to the Remuneration Authority.

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Jack Marshall - 3 years ago
We want the best possible people running the city don't we? I should imagine we'd want to pay accordingly. A skilled councillor might cost more in salary, yet save thousands in the way they oversee the running of the city. It's time for a change of thought regarding public servants.

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