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Does council deserve another pay increase? Compensation review being considered


Council is responsible for setting its own financial compensation, and next week they may reopen several politically charged issues related to their pay cheques.

On Monday, the Governance Working Group (GWG) will consider developing a new full-time councillor compensation model for the next term starting in 2026, as well as establish the scope of work for an independent Council Compensation Review Task Force (CCRTF).

“The pay is not the issue,” said Londoner Bill Brock, who attended the meetings of two previous compensation task forces in 2016 and 2021. “This is the first I’ve heard of [another review]. We just had one. They got raises!”

The mayor’s salary has grown by more than $10,000 over the last three years to $157,662.

Earlier this year, council boosted the salaries of the deputy mayor and budget chair positions by 12.5 per cent to recognize the additional workload.

Those positions now earn $73,279.

The remaining councillors earn an amount equivalent to the median full time employment income in London as determined in the most recent census.

In 2024, that totals $65,137.

“This is a very large (and) complex operation. This is not an average job,” said Deputy Mayor Shawn Lewis, who chairs GWG meetings.

Lewis believes councillors deserve more than the average employment income, comparing the work of council to a board of directors.

As London’s population approaches half-a-million people, he said being a ward councillor has become a full-time role.

“We need councillors who can do this job. Focus on this job without having to worry about needing another job to make ends meet,” Lewis told CTV News.

A final report from the most recent Council Compensation Review Task Force was presented to council in March of 2022.

It determined that councillors should continue to earn the median employment income in London, but added that annual increases be automatic based on federal census data.

The recommendation sought to de-politicize a previous requirement that council vote to approve its annual raise based on the inflation rate.

Lewis would like an expanded compensation review to include a clear job description and set of expectations for council members.

Councillors set their own performance expectations with few rules regarding attendance, communication with constituents, and participation on external boards and commissions.

At times, it’s led to friction between council members because of an uneven distribution of their shared workload.

Lewis suggests a fairer system might be a return to receiving financial stipends for each committee, external board, or similar role a councillor takes on.

“We have other councillors who are not filling those roles, and so maybe the base pay stays the same [for each member] and maybe it’s kind of a pay-for-performance [compensation system] where if you take on extra work, you get bonus pay for that extra work,” he explained.

Brock calls for a full governance review to clearly define council responsibilities and prevent politicians from wading into the responsibilities of city staff.

“They need a review of the governance structure between what the administration does and what the councillors do,” he said. “In the old days, the councillors were the policy setters and the staff were the experts.”

On Monday, the GWG will consider the staff report about conducting a council compensation review.

If council decides to launch a compensation task force, it would begin work in January and prepare recommendations by June 2025.

Annual salary of the mayor

  • 2022      $147,165
  • 2023      $152,323
  • 2024      $157,662

Annual salary of a councillor

  • 2022      $60,800
  • 2023      $62,931
  • 2024      $65,137

Annual salary of deputy mayor and budget chair

  • 2022      $60,800
  • 2023      $62,931
  • 2024      $73,279

Additional benefits for municipal politicians include:

  • parking at city hall
  • car allowance
  • travel expenses
  • expense allowance
  • healthcare benefits
  • life insurance
  • private office/meeting space
  • technology (cellphone, computer, etc.) Top Stories

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