Williams Lake city council recently approved an increase in the travel meal allowance to a maximum of $80 a day for council, management and all staff.
Prior to the increase, the rate was set at $60 plus taxes in 2005. The new rate of $80, includes taxes.
During recent negotiations with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 882B that represents unionized workers in the city, the union asked the city to bring forward an increase in per diem rates.
The union’s service representative John Dube said members were having to pay out of pocket when away on courses or training in bigger centres.
Per diem rates do not fall under the union’s collective agreement, and have to be set by council.
The $80 maximum breaks down into $15 for breakfast, $20 for lunch, $35 for dinner and $10 for incidentals.
“This increase to meal allowances is below the provincial average among similar sized municipalities,” Mayor Cook said, adding the city did a comparison to 23 other municipalities in the province.
The average was between $75 and $85.
Closer to home, the Cariboo Regional District confirmed its directors may utilize a per diem rate of a maximum of $90 per day if travel requires going out-of-district and staying overnight.
The CRD rate is $20 for breakfast, $25 for lunch, $35 for dinner and $10 for incidentals.
If the period of travel includes partial days, the per diem is prorated, as is the city’s.
The CRD per diem bylaw was adopted in 2011 and amended in 2012.
Council made the decision to increase the rate after considering a report from staff during an in-camera meeting held Feb. 26 and released the information with the agenda of its regular council meeting Mar. 5.