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Renumeration increase of four per cent approved by TNRD board on March 7

Increase for board directors’ stipends is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2024
The TNRD civic building in downtown Kamloops. (File photo)

At their meeting on March 7, the board of directors of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) approved a four per cent remuneration increase retroactive to Jan. 1, 2024.

In December 2023 the board revised its remuneration bylaw to include a new process for calculating annual increases to compensation rates. The bylaw states that the annual increase would be equivalent to an average of the previous three years of the British Columbia Consumer Price Index (CPI), but if that average was greater than four per cent it would require review by the board.

The B.C. CPI average for the past three years (2021 to 2023) averaged 4.5 per cent, which meant the board had to review it. Options presented were to approve a 4.5 per cent increase, approve a four per cent increase, or choose a different percentage.

Director David Laird (Electoral Area “M”) moved to approve a four per cent increase , seconded by vice-chair Robin Smith of Logan Lake. The motion passed unanimously with no discussion.

“Deciding on what you should get paid, and then voting on any pay increase, is something all elected officials have to do, and I’ve never met a politician who enjoys the process,” says TNRD board chair Barbara Roden.

“We’re always conscious that voting ourselves a pay rise is never a good look, particularly when we know that so many people are struggling with high prices and ever-rising costs. If there was a different and better way to determine pay increases for elected officials, so that their remuneration remained fair compensation for the work they do, we would leap at it.”

“We also have to ensure that we pay people fairly, so that we attract a diverse group of people of all ages and backgrounds to serve in local government, not just retired people with a secure pension, or self-employed people or business owners who have job flexibility,” Roden adds.

Before the retroactive 2024 increase approved on March 7, electoral area directors received an annual stipend of $30,206 and municipal directors received an annual stipend of $17,000. The changes that were made to the remuneration bylaw in December 2023 included a four per cent increase for 2023, retroactive to January 2023, as well as a one-time increase to annual indemnities to ensure directors’ compensation was reflective of that of directors in other regional districts in the area.

Other changes included language that ensured the annual increase was a maximum of four per cent unless the board decided otherwise, and language that would ensure the bylaw is reviewed every two years.

The staff report presented to the board stated the TNRD’s provisional budget for 2024 was drafted with an increase of four per cent ($25,007.80 in total) included, so no adjustments to the budget would be needed.