Sooke council has unanimously voted to hike their salaries by five per cent in 2021. Also, they are directing staff to investigate creating a formula for future mayor and council pay wages. (Black Press Media file photo)

Sooke council has unanimously voted to hike their salaries by five per cent in 2021. Also, they are directing staff to investigate creating a formula for future mayor and council pay wages. (Black Press Media file photo)

Sooke moves ahead with five per cent pay hike for council

Councillors ask staff to come up with formula for future pay raises

Sooke council members voted themselves a five per cent raise on Wednesday.

The mayor’s remuneration has been increased to $31,500 from the previous rate of $30,000. The six councillors’ salaries have increased to $15,750, representing a $750 hike from the old salary level.

The raises take effect Jan. 1.

ALSO READ: Sooke councillors pledge to pare down tax hike

This is the second year in a row council has voted itself a raise. Last year, it approved a nearly 50 per cent wage increase after a decade of frozen wages.

“It [the pay raise] wasn’t touched for over a decade because people would say things like, ‘You do it for the love of your community,’” said Coun. Megan McMath. “It’s just not reasonable, especially now. If you want a good spectrum of the community, this job can’t be financially ostracizing and it is.”

Coun. Al Beddows pushed for the five per cent wage boost.

“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.”

Council directed staff to come up with a formula that will determine future mayor and council pay increases. Beddows pointed out Ladysmith has a set wage hike formula until 2022.

Council will direct staff to review Ladysmith’s approach, including other similar-sized communities, and report back to council next year.

The 2021 wage hike isn’t sitting well with the Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria.

“This idea is completely outrageous and tone-deaf,” said John Treleaven, chair of the Grumpy Taxpayer$.

“If [council] 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.”

Sooke has about 14,000 residents and a $29.7 million budget this year.

– with files from Kevin Laird

READ MORE: Sooke Council finally gets a pay raise


 

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

Leila Bui with her parents Tuan (left) and Kairry Nguyen on Jan. 27, 2020 after Tenessa Nikirk was found guilty for striking Bui in a Saanich crosswalk. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Driver convicted of dangerous driving after hitting Leila Bui out on bail

Tennesa Nikirk was convicted for striking then 11-year-old Leila Bui with her car

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed as Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre will once again be transformed into temporary sheltering for 45 individuals starting in March. (Courtesy of the B.C. Government)
Temporary shelter to resume at Victoria’ Save-On-Foods arena in March

BC Housing signed lease with GSL Group from Feb. 1 to May 30

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
UPDATE: No sign of small plane that went down in Juan de Fuca Strait

Searchers out on both sides of border between Victoria and Port Angeles

Victoria police are seeking a young woman suspected of spitting on a bus driver in October 2020. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
VIDEO: Young woman sought after ‘spitting assault’ on Victoria bus driver

Suspect became irate after bus came to a sudden stop

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 26

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(B.C. government photo)
POLL: Would you like to see restrictions on travel to B.C. from other provinces?

With a host of more virulent strains of COVID-19 appearing across the… Continue reading

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.
B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Most Read