The West

Concillors in line for 3pc pay rise
Concillors in line for 3pc pay rise

Local government councillors stand to get bigger pay rises this year than WA police and other public servants.

The Salaries and Allowances Tribunal has given councils the go-ahead to increase the maximum annual allowance for councillors and mayors by up to 3 per cent for 2014-15.

The decision means councillors could be better off than police and other public servants because the State Government's belt-tightening public sector wages policy limits increases to 2.75 per cent, in line with its inflation forecasts.

Police officers have already agreed to increases of 2.75 per cent, 2.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent and the Government has indicated other public servants can expect similar offers.

The tribunal's decision comes after big increases in council allowances last year after the first review in eight years.

From Tuesday the ceiling for council and committee meeting fees, annual attendance fees and annual allowances for mayors and presidents will increase 3 per cent across the board.

Explaining its decision, the tribunal said it believed the increase was "sufficient given the economic climate" and last year's "substantial increases".

"(The tribunal's decision) maintains the understanding that there is a recognised element of community service associated with the role of elected council member," it said.

Premier Colin Barnett said he would prefer wages were "in line with inflation and in line with government policy" but that the tribunal was an independent body that made its own determinations.

WA Local Government Association president Troy Pickard said he believed the tribunal's decision was "in line with general market indicators". "Councillors and mayors put in considerably more hours than they're remunerated for and that's recognition of the community-based role they perform and that's why it's called an allowance and not a salary," he said.

The West Australian

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