It’s that time of year again where I like to write about City Council compensation. As my wage is paid for by all Edmontonians, I believe it’s important to review the process about how Council wages are set.
Back in 2006, a decision was made by that City Council to find a way to stop voting on their own salaries. The process that now takes place every two terms is an independent committee will complete a review and provide recommendations to Council on what the compensation should be. For those interested in reading the 2006 and 2012 reports, please visit this site and scroll to the bottom of the page where you can access both reports.
I believe that having our compensation determined independently is the correct approach. When the Council of 2012 was debating this, I agreed with the process and still think it is the best process because it eliminates any political involvement around salaries. This is the only order of government that does not set their own wages and I do not believe we should ever be involved in that decision as there would be no way to remain unbiased. It is worth noting that the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation also supports the approach of having an independent committee setting our wages.
The approved recommendation requires that our wages are tied to Statistic Canada’s Average Weekly Earnings of Albertans. They use the 12 month average starting from September of the previous year. Therefore Council wages for 2017 have decreased by 2.49%. If you are interested, the link above also provides a full breakdown of additional benefits that we receive.
For those of you who read what I wrote the last two years, this post looks similar. As long as our wages are determined independently, it is unlikely this yearly post will change as the process remains the same until the next Council receives a new set of recommendations from an independent committee in 2018. With that said, it is still important to review this every year so people understand the process. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.