City of Albany councillors back COVID payment proposal

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
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The City of Albany Administration and Civic Centre building.
Camera IconThe City of Albany Administration and Civic Centre building. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

About $10,000 in “unspent funds” will be reallocated to City of Albany councillors as a COVID payment after a unanimous vote at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Now that the budget amendment has been approved by councillors, $10,163 will be reallocated from the council operating costs budget line to members’ fees and allowances.

An officer report published ahead of the meeting stated the decision would create “no additional expenditure by the City” and “maintains the City’s balanced budget”.

The move comes after councillors took a voluntary 20 per cent cut to allowances for six months last year to help plug an expected City revenue shortfall of $7m

That six-month period ended in November, with the City in a “more positive financial position” than expected, according to a report.

Tuesday’s decision follows a unanimous vote from councillors at last month’s ordinary council meeting to pay City staff a “one-off COVID payment” of two per cent to account for what they gave up during the height of the pandemic.

Backed by the Fair Work Commission, City staff voted to take a 20 per cent reduction in hours for six months and freeze their salaries, forgoing a 2.1 per cent pay increase for the next financial year.

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