Councillors paid a pittance compared to workload, according to CHCC councillors

Coffs Harbour City councillors have voted for a 2 percent pay rise, but say the pay doesn’t match the workload. Photo: Emma Darbin.

 

COFFS Harbour City councillors have voted to increase their annual wages by two percent for the 2021/22 financial year.

The Local Government Remuneration Tribunal recently made its annual determination of categories of councils and the maximum and minimum fees to be paid to Mayors and Councillors for the 2021/22 financial year, with the Tribunal increasing the minimum and maximum fees for 2021/22 by 2 percent.

The increase for 2020-21 is the same as that awarded to council employees under the Local Government (State) Award 2020.

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Councillors will also be able to receive superannuation payments from July 2022 under the new remuneration changes approved under the Local Government Amendment Act 2021.

Councillors unanimously resolved at Council’s ordinary meeting on Thursday 13 May for Council, in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993, to fix the annual fee for Councillors at the maximum fee of $24,810 for the 2021/22 financial year, and an additional annual fee for the position of Mayor at the maximum fee of $61,280 for the 2021/22 financial year.

The new fees are payable from 1 July 2021.

Cr Keith Rhoades said the annual fees paid to councillors did not match councillor workloads.

“What you do is appreciated by your community, and the remuneration that you get doesn’t match what your workload is that goes into it,” Cr Rhoades stated.

Cr Tegan Swan issued a rhetorical question to the community regarding councillor payments.

“Would you do what we do for the money that we get, would you face the criticism that we face, would you put on your shoulders the responsibilities that we do for the money that we are paid?” Cr Swan asked.

“This is the reality that we face.

“There’s not many people that would do what we do.”

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said the decision to provide superannuation payments to councillors addressed a long standing issue of inequity.

“The legislation addresses a longstanding inequity in local government by providing councils with the option to make superannuation payments to mayors and councillors on top of their annual fees from July next year,” Minister Hancock said.

“This is in recognition of the high workload and responsibilities of councillors, as well as enhancing remuneration to attract more people, particularly women and youth, to stand for their community.

“The NSW Government is delighted to address this long-standing inequity in local government, and recognise the dedication and commitment of councillors across the state by introducing superannuation payments.”

Coffs Harbour City Council is categorised by the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal as a General Purpose Council – Non-Metropolitan Regional Centre.

 

By Emma DARBIN

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