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SCRD board gets a pay increase and extra meetings approved

SCRD briefs for the Nov. 24 board meeting: Cost-of-living adjustments will bump up the pay provided to Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) area directors annually starting Jan. 1 of next year.
Sunshine Coast Regional District headquarters on Field Road.


A cost-of-living adjustment will bump up the pay provided to Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) area directors annually, starting Jan. 1 of next year, but at a lower rate than originally agreed to.

At its Nov. 24 meeting the board gave four readings to a bylaw amendment to adjust how annual pay increases are calculated. It agreed to the use of annual average percentage change in the consumer price index (CPI) for Vancouver for adjustments to their pay rates in future years, rather than a year over year rate.  Adjusting to use the annual average means elected officials will see a 2.7 per cent increase in 2023. If the board had stayed with the year over year calculation, that increase would have been 6.2 per cent. 

There were no questions or debate on the matter and no votes in opposition to any of the bylaw’s readings.

Chief administrative officer Dean McKinley told Coast Reporter that when the board remuneration bylaw was updated earlier this year, a recommendation on changing the cost of living adjustment factor was not included. In an email dated Nov. 29, he stated the potential for the latest bylaw change was brought forward as  "averaging indexes over the calendar year gives a better representation of price behavior over the whole year...use of annual averages is considered the preferred option for indexation purposes."

He also noted that the annual average CPI increase is the rate used for annual adjustments to exempt staff salaries.  Annual pay adjustments for bargaining unit employees are covered by a collective agreement.

The coming year’s adjustment will be based on the change in the CPI rate effective Oct. 31 of the previous year as reported in Statistics Canada data.

What are current board pay rates? 

Effective Oct. 31 rural electoral directors are paid $33,363 per year and directors from municipal areas receive $23,354 annually. In addition to that compensation, the board chair receives a supplement of $23,354, and there are other supplements for the vice-chair as well as per day supplements for directors attending conferences. Alternate directors are paid annual stipends of $1,600.

More December meetings

The SCRD elected representatives are slated to assemble for a special committee meeting on Dec. 9 to discuss 2023 utility rates. That meeting will be in addition to a regular meeting of that committee on Dec. 8, and finance committee discussions of 2023 budget proposals Dec. 5, 6 and 7.  On Nov 29, the regional district launched a community information space on its website under the Let’s Talk SCRD section listing details on opportunities for the public to get involved in the 2023 budget.

The meeting on utility rates was added at the Nov. 24 meeting, where the group also tacked on an extra board meeting for Dec. 15, so that committee recommendations on water, garbage and wastewater service rates can be considered before the new year. The directors also have a regular board meeting on Dec. 8 and an electoral area services committee meeting on Dec. 15.

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