The Regional District of Nanaimo will adjust the remuneration of its board members starting in 2023.
An overall review was recently conducted by Kathy Sainas of Sainas Consulting Inc., to ensure equity for the current board members and also attract candidates for the next election on Oct. 15.
A report was presented at the RDN executive committee May 24 that highlighted comparisons between the current base rate plus meeting fees option versus a salaried model. It also emphasized how RDN’s remuneration structure matches against three other regional districts and six municipalities. Staff has asked the committee to decide whether it preferred option one, which is to retain the status quo or go to a salary model.
The current base pay rate, not including meeting fees, for a municipal director is $22,000 and it would go up to $24,500 if remuneration is done via an annual salary method. Electoral area directors will see their pay spike from $44,000 to $49,000. A municipal director or electoral area director who takes the role of board chair gets a base pay of $80,143 and $102,143 respectively and does not change under the salary option.
Electoral Area E (Nanoose Bay director) Bob Rogers initially made a motion to support the salary-only option but placed a caveat that he would only endorse it if it included additional remuneration for directors serving as chair in different committee meetings. Manager of human resources, Jim Tait, said the suggestion to add remuneration to the salary option would take the RDN above the average of its comparative group.
The salary option was defeated 7-1, with Nanaimo director Tyler Brown the only one in favour.
The committee went on to endorse option one, with Qualicum Beach director Brian Wiese the only one opposed.
This means, starting January 2023, based on the Consumer Price Index adjustment of three per cent, the annual remuneration would be $22,660 for municipal directors, $45,320 for electoral area directors and $82,547 for chair (municipal) or $105,207 chair (electoral area).
Rogers raised the issue of compensation in lieu of a hotel stay, which he said, along the with per diem, needs to be reviewed annually by the board.
Rogers related his experience when he attended a conference in Richmond. The hotels were fully booked and he ended up staying with family.
“These things aren’t money-makers,” said Rogers. “They just allow someone to either take someone out for dinner or buy them a set of flowers or a bottle of wine.”
Rogers made a successful motion to direct staff for a report about different types of travelling expenses and reimbursement, and at what the RDN’s comparative groups do, and also includes reference to the potential small amount when directors stay a private dwelling.