Metro Vancouver directors have received a 2.3 per cent increase in the meeting fees they collect – retroactive to the start of the year.
Metro directors are now paid $354 for every regional district board or committee meeting they attend, up from $346 in 2012. The fees double if a meeting runs longer than four hours.
The salary paid by Metro to the board chair – Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore – also rose 2.3 per cent to $70,865, while vice-chair Raymond Louie is paid half that amount. All the stipends and fees are in addition to what local cities pay their mayors and councillors.
The regional politicians didn’t vote on the pay hike – the increases are calculated by Metro staff according to a formula set out in a bylaw.
The chair and vice-chair salaries and the meeting fees are all pegged to the median of Metro Vancouver mayors’ salaries, so if several cities increase their mayors’ pay, the Metro fees also climb.
Most cities recalibrate their mayors’ pay each year, some based on a similar regional median or average, and some are pegged to the negotiated increase of unionized staff.
Top paid mayors in the region, according to Metro’s figures, are Vancouver’s Gregor Robertson at $152,756, Burnaby’s Derek Corrigan at $139,206, Coquitlam’s Richard Stewart at $133,741, Surrey’s Dianne Watts at $130,533 and Delta’s Lois Jackson at $128,701. Those figures all include the base salary plus car allowance and any other taxable benefits.
Moore said pay for politicians’ service at the regional level can’t fall behind and Metro’s approach ensures that directors don’t directly vote on their own pay hikes.
“Those are the rules that we live in,” he said. “We’ve tried to do it as fairly and transparently as we can and this is what we’ve come up with.”
Moore said the calculation based on mayors’ pay is performed once every three years. For the next two years, the meeting fees and Metro salaries will instead climb by the rate of inflation.
Metro Vancouver paid out a total of $870,000 in remuneration to its directors last year, plus $60,690 in expenses.
Metro directors fees have climbed 40 per cent over the past five years, from $253 per meeting in 2008.
TOP PAID METRO DIRECTORS IN 2012
Greg Moore (Port Coquitlam Mayor and Metro board chair): $72,372 plus 18,638 expensesMaria Harris (Electoral area director): $46,342 plus $1,963 expensesRaymond Louie (Vancouver councillor and Metro vice-chair): $41,950 plus $5,845 expensesMalcolm Brodie (Richmond Mayor): $31,394 plus $617 expensesDerek Corrigan (Burnaby Mayor) $29,048 plus $366 expensesWayne Wright (New Westminster Mayor): $28,902 plus $17,009 expensesGayle Martin (Langley City councillor): $27,834 plus $3,219 expensesHeather Deal (Vancouver councillor) $26,801 plus $2,477 expensesRichard Walton (North Vancouver District Mayor): $26,505 plus $731 expenses