Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District directors will be seeing a 10 percent raise after a new bylaw was adopted on Wednesday, Aug. 22.
The 2018 Board Member Remuneration, Expenses and Benefits bylaw was created after an in-depth review from the ACRD Board Remuneration Review Committee, which included a review of the current remuneration rates and the rates in other regional districts, as well as input from current directors.
Changes will include an increase of 10 percent to reduce the impact of the federal government’s non-taxable allowance elimination, which begins next year. This elimination will lead to increased Canada Pension plan costs and the loss of a GST rebate for the regional district. Manager of finance Teri Fong said she estimated that a seven to 10 percent increase could offset the impact of this change.
Meeting rates have also been changed to reflect the length of meetings, and public hearings are now included as regular meetings.
With the proposed bylaw, a director’s remuneration (which includes 21 board meetings and 12 Regional Hospital District meetings) will be $7,150 per year.
Board chair John Jack said he felt this wasn’t enough of an increase, given the workload taken on by directors. He proposed an additional increase of $200 per month.
“What I’d like to see and what I’ve seen from this board…is a professionalism and a degree of work that goes over and above what I think remuneration has been,” he said. “I think that it’s not enough to justify the gravity and seriousness and responsibility of the positions that you’ve taken.”
Jack’s proposed amendment was voted down.
Bamfield director Keith Wyton pointed out that due to an increase in the cost of living, directors will actually be taking a five percent pay cut.
“It’s an onerous financial decision for a young person to be involved at this table,” he said. “And there should be consideration for increasing the remuneration rate for that purpose.”
Sproat Lake director Penny Cote agreed with Wyton that the changes are actually a rollback. “It will affect who runs in the future,” she added. “It does affect people’s futures, very much.”
Despite this, Cote supported the motion, stating that she supports the work that the committee has done.