Will City Councilors Give Themselves a Raise? O’Malley and Pressley Offer a Different Path

City Councilors Matt O'Malley, left, and Ayanna Pressley

City of Boston

City Councilors Matt O’Malley, left, and Ayanna Pressley

The Boston City Council is set to give itself a raise if it doesn’t act on a Mayor Marty Walsh proposal by Election Day due to a stipulation in the city charter. That would be a $12,000 raise without a vote by the city council.

Walsh recently told the Globe that the pay raise issue is in the hands of the Boston City Council. City councilor salaries would go from $87,500 a year to $99,500 if the council chooses to not act on Walsh’s proposal. This would happen because the city charter says mayoral proposals become law in 60 days if the council fails to act on them — which, in this case, would happen to fall on Election Day.

But two Boston City Councilors who voted against the raises have a different idea for how to set councilor salaries.

“I voted against the first raise in October 2014. There is a mechanism that I suggested along with Councilor Ayanna Pressley that I hope we can still achieve. It would index any councilor’s salary to the Boston Median Income (BMI),” said District 6 City Councilor Matt O’Malley, whose district includes most of Jamaica Plain. “It is the process the state uses. It has led to increases and decreases when the Area Median Income (AMI) goes up or down. But this would be for the Boston Median Income. I think, and I’ve said all along, it is unseemly and uncomfortable when people set their own pay raises. Adopting the approach of the state legislature is the way to go. Ayanna and I will continue to push for that.”