The Sunday Times reports today that seven out of the twenty-eight metropolitan mayors are ‘moonlighting’ and have other jobs.
Local government is not intended to be a full-time job for Mayors and Councillors but the workload is significant as I know from observing the huge number of hours Mayor Brad Pettitt and most Councillors spend on looking after Fremantle.
For the Freo Mayor it is a full-time job with additional local government work at the Heritage Council for which he annually receives $ 9,000 in addition to the Mayor’s payment of around $ 140,000. Correct me if I am wrong as I can’t find the exact amount.
But the City of Swan Mayor does only two days full time at council there and received nearly $ 140,000 per year, while Jim O’Neill, the Mayor of East Fremantle gets $ 43,000 for 25 hours a week and works another 45 hours per week as deputy-principal of the Willeton Senior High School.
I believe elected members should get properly paid as many of them spend the equivalent of full-time job hours on serving the community.
Good to hear that local councillors in Western Australia are due for a three percent pay rise. This is higher than the pay rise for police officers and other public servants, but I believe councillors have been underpaid for far too long. My personal observations show that Fremantle councillors work very long hours for our community and the remuneration they receive is not anywhere near adequate.
Elected Members make decisions about the future of our councils, and we should try to attract the best possible people to stand at local council elections, to make sure we get visionary people who have a big picture approach to city planning. We will only attract the best if we are willing to pay them good money for their time, that involves a lot of evening and weekend work.
The news that there will be extended trading hours during the Christmas period is immediately followed by calls from State Government to scrap penalty rates for workers in the retail and hospitality industries, and one has to wonder why. If businesses are allowed to trade four hours longer on Sundays, and if they do so, they only do that because they are expecting more business, more sales, and more profit. They don’t do it out of the good of their hearts, or because they want to deliver a better service, but because they see an opportunity to make more money. So why should those who accomplish that for them; shop assistants, kitchen and waiting staff, etc. not also profit from it.
Scrapping Sunday and Public Holiday penalty rates could well mean many people have to work additional hours during the week to make up for it, and that could be detrimental to their family life, studies, etc.
Why do we need ten-hour shopping days anyway. Are people really that bored?
There are a few disgruntled ice skating lovers in Fremantle who worked for the Winter Festival on the Esplanade. They complain they were paid below minimum wages and did not get extra pay for Sunday work, while some worked 13 hours straight without getting a meal.
Reportedly the Winter Festival averaged 1300 visitors a day at $ 20.00 each, so that looks like a healthy turn over of over $ 180,000.00 a week. Surely enough to pay casual staff award rates. However one has to wonder why staff did not check about conditions and pay before they commenced working for the company.
The people of Fremantle obviously loved the Winter Festival and I was told it will definitely return next year, so maybe the City of Fremantle could make it a condidtion of use of the Esplanade that adequate rates are paid to casual staff.
My advise to everyone offered casual work, no matter how young or old, is to make sure you know before taking on the job what you will get paid for it and what is expected of you. Complaining after the event means you did not do your homework.