Calgary city council stood by a 2.41% pay increase on its paycheques in 2024. LiveWire Calgary reported Tuesday this is due to a formula tied to the Alberta Average Weekly Earning first approved in 2006 and reaffirmed through a committee in 2020. Calgary city councillors froze their pay from 2019 to 2021. Councillors received a 1.6% pay increase in 2022 and a 2.41% one in 2023. With the increase this year, Mayor Jyoti Gondek makes $213,000 per year, and councillors are paid $120,000. The pay increase was included in the Tuesday agenda as a non-planning item going to city council. Gondek said councillors had approached her with questions on it, so it was submitted for this meeting. “The reason that this is on the agenda is because some members of council came to me after the December 21 email from administration indicating that there was a 2.41% increase people asked how is this just done automatically,” said Gondek. “I wanted to ensure that all of you, especially those that have not been through this process before, had the opportunity to understand how this decision was made.”Despite the information, some councillors took issue with the pay raise. “I don’t blame Calgarians for reaching out to us and taking it personally right now that we see a little bit more money on our paycheques and they don’t,” said Calgary Coun. Sonya Sharp.Like some other councillors, Sharp said she would be donating the pay raise to a local charity. Calgary Coun. Dan McLean said he was would not accept the verbal report on councillor pay for the corporate record. Since the pay raise had started, McLean said it was the least he could do. “I’m not going to bring forward a motion,” said McLean. “It would be pointless to debate this.”McLean called it "like it’s already baked in the cake.”While the pay increase had been applied to start 2024 and the processing started in December, Calgary Chief Administrative Officer David Duckworth said he would follow the will of council on this. “If council makes a different decision — I’m looking to my colleagues — but we would implement what council wishes,” he said.Calgary Coun. Courtney Walcott said the conversation was less about a motion coming forward and more over the efficiency of the public service. Walcott acknowledged there is always a balance between paid and free labour for what service falls within the parameters of a job. “Long story short, that these systems don’t seem to work without a balance of paid labour and unpaid labour just to make it run as it runs today,” said Walcott. “So, I always wonder how we’ll ever appropriately attract people from various backgrounds in life.”Some of the backgrounds he said he wanted on council are the social sector, non-profits, business and the arts. He added a Calgary city councillor “falls under such great scrutiny when an independent body, separate from council, built from citizens or peers, determined that our pay should be reflective of an average, for better for worse.”Calgary Coun. Terry Wong admitted there will be another review coming soon. The City of Calgary said the Council Compensation Review Committee had 105 applicants. “As I said before, given, the numerous hours we put in evenings, weekends and everything else, we give good value and is up to us to demonstrate good value, so people don’t ask us the question, why are we being compensated what it is,” said Wong. “We shouldn’t have to rationalize what we get paid.” Since he was opposed to the pay raise, Wong said he would be donating it to charity. No motions to freeze or decrease pay came forward at this meeting. Gondek and Calgary city council were given a 2.41% wage increase on January 1. READ MORE: Calgarians hit with property tax increases while council receives raiseSome people argued council should not receive a raise amid higher fuel taxes, soaring utility prices, expensive grocery prices and a property tax increase for most people. “This is something they knew was coming, they also knew that Albertans are really struggling with affordability and there are increased costs that have hit them,” said Mount Royal University public policy professor Lori Williams.