Tribal Council Raises Pay for Chairman

By Beacon Staff

PABLO — The chairman of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes is getting a 34 percent pay raise.

The tribal council voted last month to bump the salary of James Steele Jr. from nearly $42 per hour to more than $56 per hour.

Rob McDonald, spokesman for the CSKT, says the pay hike comes in response to concerns that non-elected administrators were getting paid more than their elected bosses. Currently, the lowest-paid tribal department head makes $84,000 a year while the highest-paid employee receives $174,000.

The tribal council also voted last month to increase council pay by 44 percent, but later rescinded that, citing economic concerns.

Steele says he did accept the pay raise, but abstained from voting on the issue.

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