Councillor Shelley Carroll

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Pay Raise Details

Amid the confusion on this topic, let me provide some detail and then I would welcome your input before Council votes during the Council session beginning July 25th.

The members of Policy and Finance voted in favour of recommendations based on the findings of an outside Blue Ribbon Panel and then further verified by a Corporate and public sector wage consultant. This two-pronged approach to professional review of the issue was requested by the councillors who voted to overturn Councillor Moscoe's stealth motion on councillors' salaries earlier this year. Folks may remember that I supported the motion by Councillors Walker and Pitfield to overturn that raise in favour of this review.

The panel recommends that we set our salaries at the 75th percentile of whatever is being paid in large City Councils across Canada and review every end-of-term to ensure that we are staying within that range. It recommends that out of respect for our overall financial position, that we put in place a system that ensures that we will never, ever become the highest paid councillors in Canada.

Under these recommendations, Toronto Councillors would receive a raise Jan. 1st, 2007 that amounts to about $6400.00. This is a large sum of money and under the new recommendations would be unlikely to happen again. It would bring us to a point some 25% below the total compensation to Mississauga/Peel Regional Councillors and Vaughan/York Regional Councillors and hold us there. The intent of the recommendations is to always maintain a similar distance below the highest paid Canadian City, term after term into the future.

This intentional setting of the bar below other councils ensures that our method of setting our own Councillors' salaries will never be thrown back at us by any union or employee group at contract time. After all, what union would demand to be compared to other cities and risk having their wages frozen to maintain their wage position at a point down the list about three quarters of the way from the top.