Town of Bassendean councillors and the Mayor don’t want to be paid more

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE majority of Bassendean councillors and the Mayor are not keen on the idea of receiving a pay increase.

Councillor Melissa Mykytiuk raised the possibility of a small pay rise as a potential amendment to the budget during discussions at the July 24 meeting.

Cr Mykytiuk suggested councillors be paid $205 extra to increase their earnings, known as sitting fees, from $16,000 to the maximum allowed $16,205.

She was initially going to push for a $1000 increase, but was informed there was a cap on sitting fees at $16,205.

“I have never in my life seen a group of people that work so hard and so tirelessly for the benefit of others,” she said.

“While this appears to be a money incentive, it’s the ability to buy people a little bit more time to provide that valuable service to the community.

“I don’t think people realise, unless you’ve been council, just how much you give up.”

Cr Sarah Quinton spoke in support.

“This is a workplace, we make decisions, and we are grossly underpaid for that,” she said.

Cr Jai Wilson was against the suggestion, saying he backed the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal’s recommendation that there be no increase to councillor payments.

“I would not support giving an increase to my payment at a figure that was above that which the staff would receive in their union-negotiated agreement,” he said.

Crs Mykytiuk and Quinton were the only two to vote in support of the amendment.

Cr Mykytiuk also proposed maximum increases to the Mayor’s $25,000 meeting fee and $36,000 local government allowance.

“I’ve never seen a woman work so hard and give up so much.. for the benefit of others,” she said.

Ms McLennan was thankful for the support, but said she had already refused a $7000 increase to her sitting fee in an earlier version of the budget and did not favour Cr Mykytiuk’s proposal.

No councillors seconded either of the amendments.