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Regional directors anticipate big pay hike

Area directors on the Strathcona Regional District are set to give themselves a big raise…retroactive to the beginning of 2012.

The remuneration hike was okayed by the committee of the whole on Feb. 8, but has not been formally approved by the board as budget discussions continue.

Four area directors would see their annual base “salary” rise from $20,699 to $31,128. If approved, the wage hike would be retroactive to 2012. The directors include Brenda Leigh (Oyster Bay-Buttle Lake), Jim Abram (Quadra Island), Noba Anderson (Cortes Island) and Gerald Whalley (Kyuquot-Sayward Valley).

Pay for municipal directors from Campbell River and other areas will stay the same at $10,372, but would increase to $12,072 in 2015.

The one person who would take a pay hit is the board chair, Ted Lewis of Zeballos. The chair currently receives $33,145 in addition to his regular directors’ pay.

But under the proposed remuneration changes, his basic pay for chair would be reduced to $19,872.

The base remuneration does not cover additional earnings board members receive for attending meetings (up to $125 per meeting), travel costs and other expenses.

According to the regional district’s 2011 financial statement, these area directors received the following in remuneration and expenses: Craig Anderson, Gold River, $49,062; Jim Abram, Quadra Island, $32,477; Gerald Whalley, Kyuquot, $28,348; Noba Anderson, Cortes Island, $$27,615; and Brenda Leigh, Oyster Bay-Buttle Lake, $27,493.

By comparison, Campbell River representatives Claire Moglove and Mary Storry received $14,618 and $13,643 respectively. They also receive a base remuneration of $16,850 from the City of Campbell River.

The last time regional directors’ remuneration was reviewed was in 2006. The current review has been going on for more than a year and in January, the board adopted a consultant’s report from Lamb & Associates of Nanaimo.

The human resources consultant recommended the board adopt the pay rates for the Central Kootenay Regional District, which has the highest rates in the province.

In its report, the consultants noted that, “electoral area directors are not receiving sufficient remuneration for the board functions performed and for the time they spend performing these functions.”

They added that the new pay rates, “address concerns made by the electoral directors that they are considerably underpaid.”

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