Time is running out if the current board at the Cowichan Valley Regional District intends to move forward with discussions on whether compensation for its nine electoral area directors should be increased.
At the board meeting on July 27, Ian Morrison, director for Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls, said that he believes the board made a resolution earlier in its term that the consideration of raising the remuneration for the electoral area directors, who haven’t had a pay increase in at least eight years, be brought back for a discussion before the municipal elections, which are scheduled for this fall.
“If there’s a resolution on the books for this to come forward for consideration by this board for the next board, it might be appropriate for incoming people running for office in the October election to have a clear idea as to what the meagre compensation is for the amount of work the directors do,” Morrison said at the meeting.
RELATED STORY: CVRD DIRECTORS DEFER PAY-RAISE DISCUSSION FOR 30 DAYS
Staff said they would look to see if the board did make such a resolution and get back to Morrison in a few days, but Morrison said that with many staff away on vacation, it will take a little longer than anticipated to get the answer to his question.
But he said he thinks it’s important that a decision, one way or another, be made on the issue before the election, which is just weeks away.
He said the previous board decided to leave it to the current board to deal with the compensation question, and this board should not leave it for the next newly elected set of directors to decide.
“Having to contemplate this at the beginning of this board’s term of office created a difficult scenario for us, so I’m hoping we can take a serious look at it and not kick it down the road to the next board,” said Morrison, who has been the director for his electoral area for 14 years.
RELATED STORY: CVRD’S BOARD POSTPONES PAY RAISE DISCUSSION UNTIL 2021
Morrison said the current pay for electoral area directors, which is a little more than $32,000 a year, is much less that an entry level clerk position in the CVRD, who receives about $44,000 per year.
“This position has turned into a full-time job for me,” he said.
“If I hadn’t had a career before I got elected as a director, I just wouldn’t be able to do it.”
At a board meeting in 2020, the district’s director services select committee recommended that remuneration for the representatives from the CVRD’s electoral areas be increased by $11,167.
But after a lengthy discussion among board members at the time, many directors concluded it was bad timing to be discussing pay raises during the instability created by the COVID-19 crisis, which had just recently been declared a world-wide pandemic, and a decision was made to postpone the discussion.