Iqaluit mulls increase in mayor’s pay system

“It is a very busy job”


(Updated and corrected June 28, 2:35 p.m.)

After the next municipal election, the Iqaluit mayor’s salary will likely increase from $70,000 to $109,010.22, and rise each year in amounts equal to the incremental increases that the city’s unionized employees receive under their collective agreement.

A new bylaw, which received its first reading at the June 26 city council meeting, proposes that, as a full-time employee, the mayor would work a minimum of 35 hours per week, need the permission of council to hold any other employment, and receive four weeks of vacation per year.

The Iqaluit mayor’s annual salary is now about $70,000, with no benefits. In 2008, council voted to increase the mayor’s salary to that level from about $40,000.

A full-time mayor would also be able to participate in the city’s pension plan.

Coun. Stephen Mansell said he is not in favour of the change, saying that in a city of Iqaluit’s size, the mayor position does not need to be a full-time job.

But Coun. Jimmy Kilabuk, a former mayor, disagreed, saying “it’s a full time job, it’s non-stop. I am in full agreement of a full salary.”

Iqaluit Mayor Madeleine Redfern said she works at least 50 to 60 hours a week, and that working 12 hours a day is the norm for her.

“It is a very busy job,” she said.

But the proposed pay hike won’t affect her current level of pay. The new bylaw, if approved, would not come into effect until after the next municipal election.

“I don’t see this as automatically impacting me,” she said.

Right now, neither the mayor nor city councillors receive any benefits in addition to their pay.

Iqaluit’s deputy mayor now receives about $8,000 per year, while city councillors get about $6,000 a year. They receive $100 for each council meeting they attend.

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