Sooke council is set to discuss whether they want to give themselves a five per cent pay hike in 2021. They will also talk about whether they should launch an advisory committee for future mayor and council salary hikes on Dec. 16. (File photo)

Sooke council is set to discuss whether they want to give themselves a five per cent pay hike in 2021. They will also talk about whether they should launch an advisory committee for future mayor and council salary hikes on Dec. 16. (File photo)

Sooke councillor raises idea of five per cent wage hike

Grumpy Taxpayer$ say potential move is ‘outrageous and tone-deaf’

Sooke councillors are set to discuss whether they want to give a small present to themselves in the form of a five per cent wage hike in next year’s budget.

Coun. Al Beddows will bring a notice of motion to Wednesday night’s special council meeting to discuss a wage boost and whether an advisory committee for future mayor and council salary increases should be established.

“There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that we put into this job, and it’s been growing a lot since the pandemic,” said Beddows. “Sometimes I’m left to spend a Sunday preparing for a council meeting the next day.”

He pointed out he was sent 23 letters for a public hearing, which he had to review just hours before entering a council meeting on Monday. During that meeting, council had to cut off their Zoom meeting after four hours and deferred a remaining portion of items to a special meeting on Dec. 16.

Under a proposed wage hike of five per cent, councillors would make $15,750 instead of their current $15,000, and mayor Maja Tait would bring in $31,500 compared to her current $30,000.

This move comes off a wage hike in 2019 when Sooke council approved a nearly 50 per cent wage increase after a decade of frozen wages.

ALSO READ: Sooke Council finally gets a pay raise

Beddows said if remuneration were equivalent to 2008 standards when their wages were frozen, it would equal around $17,000 for councillors and $34,000 for mayor Tait.

As with many Greater Victoria municipalities, they deal with decreasing buying power due to the increased cost of living, as more people have flocked to Sooke. The federal income tax exemption for one-third of an elected official’s salary has been eliminated since the beginning of 2019.

“This idea is completely outrageous and tone-deaf,” said John Treleaven, chair of the Grumpy Taxpayer$. “If they hadn’t just raised their salaries last year, I would’ve understood, but we’re in a zero-inflation environment right now. It would appear that Sooke’s council just doesn’t get it. They should be embarrassed.”

Treleaven added that it isn’t unusual for municipal governments to ask for outside advisors for pay wage increases, but he thinks “now is not the time.”

READ MORE: Sooke council members receive nearly $146,000 in remunerations and expenses


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

Sooke councilwage talks

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Black Press Media file photo)
Blue-green algae bloom confirmed in Elk Lake, water-based activities not recommended

Blue-green algae can be lethal to dogs, cause health issues for humans

Victoria police arrested a man Jan. 15 after he rammed his minivan into an occupied police vehicle. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria man arrested for ramming minivan into occupied police vehicle

Man caught after fleeing, crashing into cement retaining wall

Mayor Rob Martin and Costa Canna president Phil Floucault cut the ribbon on Colwood’s first cannabis retail store. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Cowichan Tribes’ Costa Canna cannabis store opens in Colwood

Cowichan Tribes has one-year deal to grow, sell cannabis

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests: Greater Victoria teacher union

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Dr. Shannon Waters, the medical health officer for the Cowichan Valley Region, is reminding people to stay the course with COVID-19 measures. (File photo)
‘Stay the course’ with COVID measures, Island Health reminds

Limit social activity, wash hands, wear a mask, and isolate if you feel sick

Most Read