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

Just Posted

Oak Bay Rotary Club member Lorna Curtis takes over as District Governor of Rotary District 5020 on July 1. (Courtesy Lorna Curtis)
Former Oak Bay recreation director goes international with Rotary

Lorna Curtis takes over as district governor on July 1

Elaine Kirwin in her Expedia Cruises office talks about the future of travel. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Sidney travel agency charts course through pandemic

Owner of Expedia Cruises in Sidney expects smooth sailing ahead once travel restrictions lift

Police are asking opponents of logging near Port Renfrew not to involve their children following additional arrests Saturday. (Black Press Media File)
Police arrest eight protesters including two minors near Port Renfrew Saturday

RCMP ask parents not to involve their children in Fairy Creek logging protests

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read