The Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s next board of directors is set to receive a pay increase with the current board having finally come to an agreement on the CSRD’s contentious remuneration bylaw.
Changes to the remuneration bylaw will see increases in compensation for both electoral area and municipal directors. With the bylaw’s adoption, directors’ net remuneration will increase on average by approximately 3.42 per cent.
Electoral Area directors will receive a stipend of $23,000, which includes pay for work in their region, as well as for attending meetings. Municipal directors will receive a stipend of $15,000.
Changes were made to the directors’ gross pay to offset the federal government’s elimination of the one-third tax-free allowance for elected officials and associated Canada Pension Plan contributions. This means the CSRD budget for directors’ remuneration will increase by approximately 11 per cent.
In addition to the base stipend, board members will also receive stipends to attend specified public hearings, conferences, and meetings outside of the regularly scheduled board and committee meetings.
The board also decided to limit the number of directors attending the annual Federation of Canadian Municipalities Conference to the board chair and three electoral area directors.
The adoption of this bylaw is the culmination of a long process of discussion and multiple revisions of the bylaw being presented to the board. As part of the process, a remuneration committee was created and spent considerable time to reach a consensus on a draft bylaw.
“There has been give and take on both sides,” commented board chair Rhona Martin, who noted it is always difficult when elected officials examine their own rates of pay. “It takes a lot of time and effort to be on the board and we do want this work to be recognized… Is this perfect? Probably not, but it is as perfect as we can come up with right now.”
The bylaw will come into effect Jan. 1, 2019, following the October 20, 2018 General Local Election. It also directs a mandatory review of Directors Remuneration every four years.