31 Jul 2015

Pay rise for councillors - and more signalled

7:48 pm on 31 July 2015

Auckland councillors are getting a pay rise but the Remuneration Authority suggests they should be paid even more.

The salary of Auckland Mayor Len Brown is rising by $6000 to $265,500, while councillors' pay is increasing to $104,250.

Len Brown at the Auckland Council meeting on Thursday 25 June.

The mayor's salary rises to $256,500 as part of the average increase of 2.3 percent. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

The Remuneration Authority said the annual increase of 2.3 percent was in line with mid-level positions in the public sector but below what it considered appropriate.

However it said more would be unfair on ratepayers.

It said this year's pay rise would have to have been at least 20 percent to keep in step with public sector pay for similarly skilled positions.

The authority will conduct a job-sizing review of Auckland councillors before next year's elections.

Larger rises of between 3.4 percent and 6 percent have gone to the members of the 21 second-tier Local Boards. The chair of the largest board, Howick, receives $93,990, and a board member's pay will be $42,880.

Councillors at today's meeting.

Auckland councillors' pay rise is below what the Remuneration Authority considers appropriate. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance spokeswoman Carmel Claridge said, after raising rates by an average of nearly 10 percent, the councillors should refuse the increase.

The Auckland Council said it was required to pay the new rates, and has told councillors they can either donate it to a cause, or refund it to the council if they so choose.

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