Parramatta councillors vote for pay increase

Parramatta's councillors voted to receive the maximum allowable pay rise of 2.5 per cent for the next financial year.

As of July 1, Parramatta councillors began to be paid an extra $660 a year, taking their total annual pay to $26,880, while the lord mayor will receive a pay increase of $1910, lifting his pay packet to $105,180.

In response to questions from the Sun, Parramatta lord mayor John Chedid said the "small rises" were designed to keep pace with inflation, just as council employees are given CPI-based yearly pay increases, and that it would be "very mean spirited" to argue councillors were overpaid.

"I believe Parramatta ratepayers get very good value from their team of councillors. No one enters local government for the pay, and it would be very mean-spirited to argue councillors are overpaid for the work they put in," Cr Chedid said.

He said he puts in up to 60 hours a week as lord mayor, including on weekends and at evening functions.

"My fellow councillors and I work extremely hard for the benefit of our community," he said.

"The rises represent a tiny fraction of our council's annual budget of almost $200 million."

The rises were at the maximum rate allowed by the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal, which determined in April that key economic indicators including the CPI and the wage price index had justified pay increases for mayors and councillors.

The public sector wages policy currently provides for a cap on pay increases of 2.5 per cent.

While fee scales are set by the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal, individual councils can choose whether or not to approve fee increases and at the maximum amount, or less.

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