Council Compensation Survey
Submission deadline September 20, 2010
During the 2009 Budget debate, Council voted to reduce its salaries by 5%
for 2009. As of January 1, 2010, the salary levels were restored to the January
1, 2008 levels. In addition to salary, the current annual payment to a
Councillor for chairing a Standing Committee of the Municipal Council is $1,194.
With the exception of the above salary adjustments, under Council policy,
Council Members’ salaries have been adjusted annually since 1999, by the lower
of either the increase in the Ontario Labour Index or the Ontario Consumer Price
Index, unless there is a negative increase, in which case there would have been
no salary adjustment.
Council’s present policy is that Council Members don’t receive any payment for serving
on agencies, boards or commissions where the body makes a payment to its members
(except for the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority). Such bodies that have at least
one member from City Council include the LTC, London Hydro, Police Services Board,
Library Board, Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, etc. The current rate
for each body is:
||Number of Councillors
|Police Services Board
|Upper Thames River Conservation Authority
||$59.50 per meeting
||$59.50 per meeting
|Lower Thames River Conservation Authority
||$60.00 per meeting
||$60.00 per meeting
|Kettle Creek Conservation Authority
||$83.58 per meeting
||$83.58 per meeting
|London Convention Centre
|Middlesex London Health Unit
|London International Airport
The following discretionary benefits are provided to Members of Council:
- Extended health and dental, life insurance, and disability coverage. This
cost is fully covered by the City (taxpayers).
- Members contribute to the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System.
Almost all cities in Ontario enroll their members of Council in OMERS. Those
cities that don’t make other pension arrangements. Starting in 2011, Members
will pay 7.4% up to $47,200 and 10.7% over $47,200. These amounts are matched
by taxpayers. This is a defined benefit plan based on actual years of service
and salary received. For example, a one-term Member of Council, would roughly
have $19,000 of total pension earned upon leaving office. This is the total
value and not an annual amount.
- Members can receive up to two city-issued computers (one for home and one
for city hall) and a Blackberry to use while in office, in accordance with Council
- Mayor’s monthly car allowance and Councillors’ claims for reimbursement
based on kilometers of use of personal vehicle for City business.
Because Members of Council are not eligible for Employment Insurance when they
leave office, no Employment Insurance Premiums are payable.
Councillors are provided with free parking in the City Hall parking garage. This
is a taxable benefit under Canada Revenue Agency rules.
Members of council can claim reimbursement, based upon a fixed rate per kilometer,
for use of their personal vehicle for Council-related purposes and the cost of incidental
expenses up to $7,000 per year. The Mayor receives a flat car allowance of $700
per month. Car allowance and vehicle reimbursement are taxable benefits. More detail
2009 Statement of Remuneration and Expenses of the current members of council
can be found on the City's website.
As a percentage of the salary paid, the cost of Council Members’ benefits to
taxpayers is approximately 21.4% for 2009.
All municipal councils can choose whether or not to receive one third of their
pay as tax free. At one time, setting one third of salary as tax free was mandated
by the Province for all municipal councils to help cover incidental expenses in
discharging their duties. Under provincial law, municipal councils must, at a public
meeting at least once during the four-year period corresponding to the term of office
of its members after a regular election, review its position on the one-third tax
free allowance. If the tax free allowance was eliminated, the corresponding one
third of the salaries would become pensionable. This would increase the pension
contributions of Members of Council and increase the cost to taxpayers as the City’s
share of the contribution to OMERS would also increase. If eliminated by Council,
the tax free allowance cannot be reinstated.
This is the first formal review of salary in approximately 15 years.
What the Council Compensation Review Task Force has Done to Date
Consistent with our mandate, we are collecting and analyzing materials from other
legislative jurisdictions and positions of comparable responsibility within the
public and private sectors. We have also sought the input of Members of Council
regarding the amount of time spent on specific council duties. Consistent with our
mandate, we are seeking input from the public.
At this point in its work, the Task Force has noted:
- Provincial legislation (Municipal Act, 2001) makes no reference to part time
or full time. Members of council hold office 7 days a week, 24 hours per day. The
choice of having another job is the choice of the individual Member of Council.
Whether or not a Member of Council has another job should not have an impact on
- Members of Council are paid a stipend (salary). The job is not an hourly one
compensated on the number of actual hours worked. This is because no standard exists
by which to judge how long a Member of Council should take in preparing for meetings,
or communicating with constituents, or attending meetings.
- Unlike jobs in large public and private sector organizations, no formal job description
exists. Nor is there a standard method for scoring the job (called job pointing
or job evaluation). For example, traditional methods include scoring a job based
on minimum education requirements. There is no such requirement for public office.
Hence, the Task Force eliminated job pointing from its list of possible methods
of setting salary. The Task Force also notes that there are no positions of comparable
responsibility in the private sector and the only positions with comparable responsibilities
in the public sector are other city mayors and councillors.
The Task Force agrees that all Members of Council, except for the Mayor, should
be paid the same salary for the work of Councillor regardless of the amount of time
an individual Councillor spends on the job. All municipalities reviewed by the Task
Force have adopted this approach. Unlike jobs in the public or private sector, there
is no increase in salary for years of experience, nor should there be. Nor is there
a means to give a higher pay rate for “higher performance,” as there is no formal
traditional job evaluation that takes place for a Member of Council (other than
at election time). During this “ballot evaluation,” each voter uses his or her own
scheme for rating the incumbent!