Boston City Council unanimously approves pay raises for Mayor Wu and councilors
Mayor Wu demands pay rise for city leaders
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said on Tuesday she may toss back a City Council proposal to raise the salaries of some of the city’s top lawmakers by about 20% after councilors unanimously backed the raise. last week.
Wu, speaking on GBH’s ‘Boston Public Radio’, said she was considering vetoing the council’s measure, which is significantly higher than the wage increases Wu first announced. to the board in August.
The council’s version is simply “too high”, Wu said.
“My main concern is that even our municipal workers, our first responders, our frontline workers who showed up every day at enormous risk to themselves and their families during the pandemic, some of those jobs are now on contract. expired for two years, three years, or even more. They didn’t get any adjustment even by contract,” Wu said. “So the timing is concerning for me and the magnitude [as well].”
Wu said Tuesday his administration was still evaluating the financial impact of the council’s proposal. She has 15 days from the council’s vote to approve or veto it. If she chooses the latter, the council can override Wu’s veto with a two-thirds vote or the support of nine councillors.
Under the council’s proposal, which was approved by all 13 councillors, the mayor’s annual salary would increase from $207,000 to $250,000 while councilors would earn $125,000 instead of the current salary of $103,500.
The increases would all come into effect after the next election cycle, although some appointed positions could see their salaries increase sooner, or rather retroactively from August 1.
The 20% increase backed by advisers was not Wu’s original demand, however.
In August, Wu proposed raising the mayor’s salary to $230,000 a year and the councilors’ annual salary to $115,000.
Wu’s suggestion came after his administration reviewed salary ranges for positions across the city and presented the results of the analysis to the Compensation Advisory Board. The review determined that Boston lags behind its peers in Massachusetts and across the country in city hall pay.
The council, in turn, came up with a set of recommendations which Wu then submitted to the council for approval.
Wu provided context for the move on Tuesday, pointing out how the vast majority of the city’s 19,000 employees have their wages determined by union contracts.
But 1,200 selected city workers, including elected officials, have their salaries set by law, Wu noted.
These employees have their salaries reviewed every two years, although this process was postponed during the COVID-19 pandemic and these workers have not seen a raise since 2018.
Wu noted that councilors cannot receive a pay rise until 2024 – after the next election – meaning that for six years these positions have not or will not see salaries reviewed or increased.
Wu’s proposed 11% raise represented an increase of about 2% for each of those six years, she said.
There is already an agreement between Wu and the city councilors. The council voted to keep part of Wu’s original proposal in place to provide an immediate pay raise to officials in appointed positions, such as the city’s legal department chief and fire and police marshals.
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