Regina city council has voted in favour of increasing their salaries in order to maintain their current take-home income.
Ottawa recently removed a tax exemption for council members across Canada. The change would cost the mayor about $16,000 in net pay. Councillors will lose $3,600 to $4,200 of their income.
On Monday, city council voted in favour of increasing their salaries to keep their take-home pay the same when those taxes are applied.
In order to make up for the change in salaries, $108,000 will come out of the 2019 City of Regina operational budget.
“We’ll deal with that as time allows, but again, we are not increasing our salary, we are simply having the same take-home pay,” Mayor Michael Fougere told the Greg Morgan Morning Show Tuesday.
Along with the salary increase, city council also voted in favour of doing a salary review.
Currently, the mayor receives a percentage of what a cabinet minister makes and then a councillor’s salary is based on a certain percentage of the mayor’s pay. A review hasn’t been done since 2002, but Fougere isn’t in favour of doing one.
“That’s where we will see an increase in salary come back because you don’t review your salaries to lower them,” Fougere said. “I still think our attention should be on providing services to residents, not dealing with salaries or benefits.”
Mayor shares concerns over staff parking at Regina General Hospital
Recently staff at the General Hospital have voiced concerns over a city proposal to install parking meters nearby, saying it would cause more problems than solutions.
Fougere admitted everyone from employees to visitors to people who live in the area are frustrated with the parking situation.
“The flood of people that are on the street is because the employer ought to be providing a safe place for residents and employees to park.”
Fougere said there is a business case to be made when it comes to building a parkade, saying it would cost money to build it but you could earn that money back.
Fougere said his hope is that the Saskatchewan Health Authority would look at partnerships to help find a solution for the parking situation.
“I agree parking meters are not the solution, I’d agree with that, and hopefully we will change that when budget comes along but the city did not create the problem, we’re trying to manage people who have the right to park near their house and people who want to visit patients and people who work in the hospital have a right to be there as well.”