County of Stettler emplyees got an early Christmas present from county council Dec. 8, 2021.
After not receiving a cost-of-living adjustment in 2021, council has opted to move forward with a three per cent increase for 2022.
This increase comes as inflation in Alberta hit 4.3 per cent as of the end of October, which made one councillor question whether the increase was enough.
“Should we be closer to 3.5 (per cent)?” asked Coun. James Nibourg.
“I’m just wondering if we shouldn’t be bumping it up a little more.”
Coun. Justin Stevens disagreed.
“We have a ton of difficult decisions to make,” said Stevens.
“Is this going to make even tougher decisions next month? We don’t want to seem out of touch with our residents.”
County council will be going into budget deliberations in January to prepare for a final budget in February.
Chief administrative officer Yvette Cassidy appeared ambivilant on the discussion.
“Staff didn’t get anything last year, so they should be fairly happy with anything,” said Cassidy.
“It’s totally up to council.”
Coun. Les Stulberg moved to provide staff a three per cent cost-of-living adjustment, which subsequently passed, with Coun. Stevens voting against the motion.
“We do have some tough decisions to make,” said Reeve Clarke.
“I think three per cent is very generous for what our prducers went through this year.”
The wage adjustment will be effective as of Jan. 1, 2022.