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article imageToronto councillors unanimously vote to freeze wages, passes 39-3

By Andrew Moran     Feb 9, 2011 in Politics
Toronto - Following a two-hour debate in the council chamber at city hall, Toronto councillors unanimously voted in favour of freezing their wages. The motion was passed 39-3 and was noted by Budget Chief Mike Del Grande as a symbol of sacrifice.
City Councillors in Toronto earn just less than $100,000 per year and Mayor Rob Ford garners a salary of a little less than $168,000. The councillors were due for a 2.6 percent raise, which is a pay increase that is tied with inflation, or the Consumer Price Index.
However, instead of taking a pay increase “and telling others to cut,” 39 city councillors made the decision to vote down a hike in their wages after a debate that lasted nearly two hours in the council chamber, according to CTV News.
“Everybody in the city, not just the unions, will look at what we have done with respect to our own leadership, when it comes to that issue,” said Budget Chief Mike Del Grande, reports 680 News. “You can lead or you can follow.”
Councillor Doug Ford, the Mayor’s brother and closest aide, told reporters that “we have to lead by example.” But Mayor Ford stated, though, that he was shocked the debate lasted two hours because “It’s clear cut that we don’t take it.”
2010-2014 City Council class
2010-2014 City Council class
Despite the unanimous vote, Councillor Joe Mihevc opposed the motion because he believes the city councillors deserve the pay increase, according to the Toronto Star.
“We work endless hours serving our community,” said Mihevc. “I think we as city councillors need to stand up and say, ‘You know what, we deserve fair compensation for the work that we do.’”
The next battle for city hall and the Mayor is the fight with unions over wage increases and privatization: “I look forward to the fights because I’m going to fight on behalf of the taxpayer,” said Ford, reports the Toronto Sun.
More about Toronto city council, City hall, Wage freeze, Rob Ford
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