MRC prefect salary up for discussion at Vaudreuil-Dorion council meeting
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
The MRC Vaudreuil-Soulanges is scheduled to officially adopt a draft by-law that will increase the salary of the prefect and substitute prefect by about 17 per cent and 35 per cent respectively at the next council meeting at MRC headquarters, 280 Harwood Blvd., on February 20, 7:30 p.m.
A substantial increase in the salaries of the prefect and substitute prefect for the Municipalité Régionale de Comté (MRC) de Vaudreuil-Soulanges caught the attention of an irate Vaudreuil-Dorion resident who raised the issue with Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon during the first question period at the Monday evening council meeting on February 4.
Mario Tanguay, who asked the mayor whether he was present at the last MRC council meeting, said he’s astonished by the large salary increases the MRC will give to its two top officials, saying public service employees are now earning private sector salaries. “It’s inexplicable,” he said.
Tanguay told council the new remuneration for MRC Prefect Patrick Bousez, who is also the Mayor of Rivière-Beaudette, will increase to $119,595 – just under 17 per cent of the current salary – which includes taxable participation in council and executive committee meetings. The current remuneration is $102,444 and excludes council and executive committee meetings which are listed under a separate tax-free category.
The prefect receives additional tax-free stipends of $344 and $289 respectively for participating at each council and executive committee meeting under the current pay structure.
Substitute prefect salary
The new remuneration for the salary of the substitute prefect, Yvan Cardinal who is also the Mayor of Pincourt, will increase by almost 35 per cent to $35,100 and will include taxable participation at council and executive committee meetings. The current remuneration is $26,022 which includes an additional tax-free stipend of $234 for participating at each council and executive committee meeting.
The new salaries were introduced as draft by-law at the last MRC council meeting on January 23 and have not yet come into effect. When adopted, the increases will be retroactive to January 1, 2019.
Salaries seem out of line
Pilon said he was present at the last meeting and agreed with Tanguay, saying the salaries seem out of line and disproportionate with the annual budget the MRC manages which amounts to about $15 million compared to the annual operating budget for Vaudreuil-Dorion which amounts to just under $81.5 million for 2019.
“The salary of the prefect is too high. It’s higher than the mayor of Vaudreuil-Dorion” Pilon told The Journal during a telephone interview on February 6.
MRC council meeting February 20
The changes to the pay scale are being made by the MRC to compensate the prefect and substitute prefect from recent legislative changes imposed by the federal government to eliminate certain tax free allowances. The by-law will is scheduled to be officially adopted at the upcoming council meeting at the MRC headquarters, 280 Harwood Blvd., on February 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Blue collar collective agreement
The City of Vaudreuil-Dorion has signed a new collective agreement with its blue collar workers. The new seven-year employment contract is retroactive from January 1, 2018 and will run until December 31, 2024. It provides a salary increase of 2.2 per cent for 2018 and 2.4 per cent each year from 2019 to 2024.
“It’s very good news,” said Pilon. “We’re trying to reach a similar agreement with our white collar employees. We hope this is a trend for the future, to have an agreement that spans many years instead of just three or four years. I think there are more towns that are going to look at this option as a solution. It’s better for everyone.”
Providing quality services
The terms of the agreement include objectives regarding efficiency, work-team stability, organizational flexibility, work-family balance, fairness, and recognition of the contributions made by blue-collar employees to the quality of services offered to citizens, said Isabelle Bureau, Director of the city’s Human Resources Department, and Olivier Van Neste, Director of the Development and Planning.
The agreement reflects the guidelines in terms of providing quality services and recognizing the contribution of blue-collar workers in this regard, said Director General Martin Houde. "We congratulate the bargaining teams on their hard work and perseverance in achieving mutually beneficial goals.”