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Research Bureau Opposes Docket #1471: Salary of City Councilors

(Boston, MA 9/29/14) The Research Bureau testified today before the City Council's Committee on Government Operations in opposition to docket #1471, an ordinance regarding the salary of City Councilors. The Research Bureau opposes the proposal to increase the salary of only the members of the Boston City Council and not address this matter as part of a comprehensive approach to all senior positions whose salary or salary ranges are set by ordinance.

Main reasons for opposition include:

The Bureau supports the work prepared by the Compensation Advisory Board and believes its recommendations should be the basis for any salary increase. While the Board failed to produce reports in even numbered years since 2006, its May 2013 recommendations should be used to design and implement a comprehensive plan for salary increases for all positions set by ordinance. While the Mayor does not support an increase in his salary at this time, the tradition of the City Councilor's salary being 50% of the Mayor's salary as recommended by the CAB could be an option.

Putting legal arguments aside, for the City Council to vote on a pay increase that goes into affect before the next election raises questions of a conflict of interest. Any pay raise for City Councilors should not go into affect before January of 2016. The Council should use this time to work with the Walsh Administration to develop a comprehensive salary package.

The proposed 29% increase not only outpaces growth in civilian unions since 2007, it also ignores the history of salary increases for the City Council since 1994. Between 1994 and 2007 the City Council received a 94.4% pay raise, far higher than both civilian and uniformed unions during this time period.

For the full testimony, click here.

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