Council approves COLA increase for Town staff, funds in
One of the first concrete decisions made by council as part of the 2013
municipal budget package is approval of a 1.5 per cent Cost of Living
Allowance (COLA) increase for Town staff.
As has been the case for the past few years now, money is set aside in
the budget as a "contingency" which has turned out to be earmarked for
salary increases. This year, it's about $184,000 which appears to be in
addition to a $289,737 unfavourable expenditure related to salaries and
wages, including "impact of new staff, step increases etc." As
well, there's an unfavourable variance of $121,508 for
"significant OMERS increase and other benefit impacts."
It's also anticipated that council will be discussing raising its own
honorariums, which if approved would likely fall in line with the 1.5
per cent. New Tecumseth has 13 members of senior staff who earn more
"The draft 2013 budget included the opportunity to support a cost of
living allowance amount of 1.5 percent which was announced to those in
attendance last evening," explained Mayor Mike MacEachern via email
this afternoon. "The 1.5 percent increase for staff was unanimously
recommended by Council for inclusion in the final budget."
The first draft of the budget would increase the average property tax
bill by $132, or 8.8 per cent over last year. Of that, about three per
cent is to pay for a $607,000 increase in OPP costs.
Council meets again Wednesday night at the Alliston Fire Hall starting
at 7 pm for its next budget working session. It is open to the public,
but only as spectators.