Councillor calls for end to CPI-based annual pay increases for staff

Motion to be considered at Sept. 12 Mapleton council meeting

MAPLETON – A motion calling for an end to a policy automatically awarding annual increases for Mapleton Township staff based on the Consumer Price Increase (CPI) will be discussed by council here next month.

Councillor Michael Martin presented a notice of motion at the Aug. 8 council meeting that would see council “repeal or cancel” the policy “that dictates the annual staff wage increase as per COLA (cost-of-living adjustment) of a specific month.”

The motion also calls for future wage increases to be “proposed and discussed publicly during the annual budget process.”

The township has an established policy of increasing staff wages each year by an amount equal to the year-to-year CPI increase as of the end of August the previous year.

In 2023, the policy resulted in a seven per cent increase, based on the August 2022 CPI.

Martin was critical of the policy during debate on the township’s 2023 budget and he voted against approving the budget with the increase.

“I didn’t think when this policy was created, that we would ever hold to a negative, you know, in a recession, or that we were ever contemplating a 7% (increase),” Martin stated during budget discussions at the Jan. 4 meeting

The 2023 increase was substantially higher than other recent increases.

Mapleton staff actually received a 0% COLA increase in 2021, based on the August 2020 CPI. In 2022, Mapleton staff received a COLA increase of 2.4%.

Combined with a 1.21% increase in the 2020 budget, Mapleton staff received an average COLA increase of 1.2% over the previous three years.

The motion is expected to be on the agenda for the Sept. 12 council meeting.