At least one member of Kenora city council is ready to move ahead with increased compensation for non-union staff.

Kelsie Van Belleghem says the money spent for a Compensation Review is a drop in the bucket compared to other areas of the municipal budget they are forced to pay for.

“I am personally aware of the affordability crisis that we are in in this province,” Van Belleghem told city council at the Committee of the Whole meeting this week.

“And I’ve spoken to about $6 million in this budget of dollars we are mandated to pay, that are not the city’s jurisdiction.”

She says that includes things like public health, land ambulance service and long term care.

She says instead of holding out on city employees, they should be lobby the federal and provincial governments
to give the city more money for things like public health and social services.

“The Compensation Review that we are talking about has an increase of $395,410.  So I ask this council how it can say we cannot afford to pay municipal staff a fair wage?”

Some members of council would like to delay the Compensation Review until July 1st, instead of implementing it retroactively to January 1st of this year in order to shave a few dollars off the municipal budget.