Editorial — Proposed council pay increase is outrageous

To boost pay as much as 14 per cent after last year's pay increase backlash shows a complete insensitivity to taxpayers.

Langley Township council will likely get another raise in January — 13 months after enraged citizens protested a 12 per cent raise given to the mayor and 19 per cent for councillors, which took effect last December.

The latest boost is the result of a report by a council-appointed task force, empowered to look into how council should set its wage rates. Outrage over raises that bore little resemblance to what most people receive has been replaced by justification as to why council members need even more.

The one good thing which the task force did point out in its report was that the old system, where council wages here were set by comparing them to those paid to other councils, was inappropriate.

As the report states: “This type of comparison resulted in inappropriate benchmarking of remuneration, as like-sized jurisdictions were all using the same and each other as comparators.”

Precisely. It was a vicious circle. One council would grant itself a raise, and then others would follow suit, claiming “they had to keep up.”

The task force did a good job of pinpointing the problem, but it had great difficulty coming up with a sensible solution. It agreed unanimously that council members are not overpaid, and then decided that the salaries of the mayor and council need to be based on the salaries of federal MPs, MLAs, provincial cabinet ministers, judges, high school principals and the head of the Langley RCMP detachment. Why were these positions chosen?

There is no comparison between the work done by a judge, principal or police chief, and that of a councillor. The only similarity is that all are paid for by taxpayers.

At a time when council should be showing restraint, to show respect for taxpayers and set an example for unionized staff who are in the midst of negotiating a new contract, the majority of Langley Township council seems poised to vote themselves a total compensation increase of from 12 to 14 per cent in January (including a new travel allowance).

This is outrageous, and if it passes, shows a deeply-ingrained sense of entitlement.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langley quilters save fundraising raffle after quilt show plans unravel

COVID-19 forced the cancellation of May’s quilt show which was more than a year in the planning

Langley kids bust out the paints and crayons to bring cheer to seniors

Campaign resulted in more than 600 letters and art created to let seniors know they are not alone

COVID-19 case confirmed at Highstreet Walmart in Abbotsford

Fraser Health sends out letter to those who might have had contact with individual

No need to get out of your car at food truck festival in Abbotsford and Langley

Annual event takes drive-thru approach during COVID-19 pandemic

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Aldergrove Star to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

VIDEO: Pitt Meadows dentist gets grand welcome home after two-month COVID-19 battle

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Stray dog with duct tape around muzzle spotted in Abbotsford

Pooch has been spotted over two days, but has escaped capture so far

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Most Read