Surrey council criticized for voting itself a raise during closed-door meeting

Surrey’s mayor and council faced criticism Wednesday, after it was revealed they’d voted themselves a raise at a closed-door meeting in January.

The 2.3-per cent raise was first revealed by the Surrey Now-Leader.

With the pay bump, Mayor Doug McCallum now earns $156,000 per year, while councillors earn $79,968.

Read more: Vancouver School Board takes fire over retroactive pay bump for trustees

Three councillors, Steven Pettigrew, Jack Hundial and Linda Annis, say they’ll donate their raises to charity.

“We are struggling financially, we’re also struggling as a city, we’ve borrowed $150 million to build infrastructure, we’ve borrowed $5 million to balance our books this year, this is not the time when we should be looking at raises for anybody,” Annis told Global News.

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Click to play video 'Vancouver School Board under fire for retroactive raises for trustees' Vancouver School Board under fire for retroactive raises for trustees

Vancouver School Board under fire for retroactive raises for trustees – Feb 24, 2021

Mayor McCallum declined an on-camera interview regarding the matter, but issued a statement saying the raise was discussed behind closed doors because there were confidential issues involved, and the raises were reviewed by an external third party.

Read more: Should politicians vote on their own raises? This one says no

Asked about the raise on CKNW’s Lynda Steele Show, Coun. Allison Patton said she couldn’t talk about it because it happened in a closed council meeting.

“There’s no need to defend it,” she said.

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“(Human resources) issues are in closed council, so that’s common practice in numbers of councils. That’s all the comments I have,” she said.

Last week, Vancouver’s elected school board faced criticism of its own after it emerged that trustees has approved a retroactive pay bump in a closed-door meeting.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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