City council salaries to roll back 2.49% in 2017

The recommendation was made by an independent citizen committee and is based on Statistics Canada weekly earnings in the province.

Independent citizen committee uses Statistics Canada numbers to set formula

An independent committee has recommended city council salaries be rolled back by 2.49 per cent in 2017. (Scott Dippel/CBC)

Calgary city councillors will see their salaries rolled back by 2.49 per cent on Jan 1, 2017.

The change is based on Statistics Canada weekly earnings in the province, according to a formula set by an independent citizen committee.

"Ultimately it's a fact that payrolls are going down, that's why it's a decrease," said Coun. Ward Sutherland, who is also vice-chair of the city's finance committee.

"Anybody wouldn't like a decrease but it is what it is. It's also indicative of what's happening in our [economy] right now."

The mayor currently makes $218,000 a year, while councillors are paid $116,000.

Councillors also get a host of other perks and benefits — from car allowances and health care spending accounts, to executive health assessments and financial planning.

A rollback of 2.49 per cent on a councillor's salary is $2,888, while for the mayor it is $5,428.

Coun. Andre Chabot called the move appropriate.

"The numbers this year are more indicative of what in fact is happening with the rest of Canada so I think it's an appropriate rollback," he said.

"Hopefully it'll resonate throughout the organization as we move forward when we look at renegotiating contracts."

The city will begin negotiating with unions representing its workers in 2018.

The fact salaries have gone down in Alberta is troubling for Chabot.

"Hopefully things will start turning around in 2017, it does look like oil has rebounded a little bit," he said. "We're certainly looking at diversifying our economy and as a city we're going to do what we can to try and stimulate the economy through investing in local infrastructure."