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Local councillors are seeking a 40% pay rise

Local representatives feel they are being shortchanged by an increased workload after the implementation of local government reform.

shutterstock_92008838 (1) Source: Shutterstock/Mi.Ti.

IRELAND’S LOCAL COUNCILLORS are to seek a 40% pay rise in the near future.

The move comes on the back of the reduction in the number of councillors instigated by local government reform before the local elections in May 2014.

With the abolition of some councils and the amalgamation of others, the number of local representatives in Ireland reduced from 1,627 to 949 at that time.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, a source within the Association of Irish Local Government (AILG), the representative association for councillors, said that the request is an entirely fair one given that councillors pay PRSI and given the greatly increased workload and geographical coverage necessary for each councillor since the last election.

“The full 949 members were surveyed in July and August last year, the overwhelming conclusion was that councillors’ workloads have greatly increased,” the source said.

AILG Source: AILG

Click here to view a larger image

The results of the AILG’s survey can be viewed here.

There’s now one councillor for every 4,500 people, the workload has increased dramatically.

The results of the survey suggest that 74% of councillors are spending 10 hours or more attending meetings each week, with 68% spending an additional 10 hours or more on community events.

“Our members don’t fall under Haddington Road, because of the historical link between a councillor’s salary and that of a senator (the general rule of thumb is that a councillor’s salary should be one quarter that of a senator),” the source said.

With councillors amassing a 33-hour week at a salary of €16,000, that’s less than minimum wage.

The AILG say that a similar survey conducted by the Department of the Environment in January of this year reached broadly similar conclusions to their own.

As such, they are seeking a 40% increase in a councillor’s base salary, from €16,565 to €23,188.

As to when the pay rise might happen, should it be approved, the source admits that is unclear given the “uncertain” political situation currently.

“We had hoped to bring this through before the election,” they said.

As to when it will happen now, given the situation politically at present it’s impossible to say.

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