KENILWORTH – The baseline of salaries for the mayor and councillors in Wellington North remains unchanged for the new term of council.
However, salaries will rise in response to inflation, with a four per cent cap.
A market review of wages for non-unionized staff, including a review of how much council earns, was completed this year, leading to some changes in the township’s council remuneration bylaw.
At a Nov. 7 council meeting, CAO Brooke Lambert discussed amendments to the bylaw, which take effect in the new year.
Salaries remain unchanged from the previous council term.
Mayor Andy Lennox will continue earning $29,500 per year, and current councillors Sherry Burke, Steve McCabe and Lisa Hern, as well as councillor-elect Penny Renken, will earn $19,000 per year.
Travel stipends — $800 per year for inner-municipal travel and 50 cents/km outside — also remain unchanged.
What does change is when inflation adjustments are calculated, and how much of an effect inflation will have on salaries in a given year.
Salaries will now increase according to the September Statistics Canada Ontario Consumer Price Index (CPI) each new year, instead of July.
Increases are also now capped at 4%. Although in years were the CPI is higher than the cap — as it was this year, at nearly 7% — the remainder will be carried over to the following year.
“For example, if the CPI rate is 6.8 (as it was this year), but next year it is 1.2, then the additional 2.8 would be added to the 1.2 (for a total of 4%),” Lambert explained in an email responding to questions from the Advertiser.
She also noted increases don’t carry over indefinitely.
If there are two simultaneous years with increased inflation beyond the cap — 6.8% in 2022 and 6.8% the next, for example — the increase remains capped at 4%.
“The intent of the cap is to smooth our big increases over a couple of years, up to the cap,” Lambert wrote.
“It is also intended to provide a consistent approach for council wage increases, reflecting the approach to non-union wage increases that are also indexed on the CPI calculations.”