Politicians’ pay.

It’s always a touchy issue — and before the last municipal election in 2006, city council approved a cost-of-living increase every year.

This year, 18 councillors and the mayor have voluntarily declined the 2.42 per cent hike.

But given the economic climate, the city’s finances and now the strike, some opposition councillors have repeatedly tried to freeze councillors’ salaries this year, with no success.

Debate on the freeze never made it to the council floor.

In an ironic twist, the executive committee, which is controlled by the mayor, declined to tackle politicians’ pay at the same meeting where pay for the city’s managers and non-union staff was frozen.

Since the strike began, Mayor David Miller has brushed aside calls for a special council meeting, saying the item has been dealt with.

“A decision was made some years ago to separate councillors’ salaries from what we bargain collectively,” Miller told reporters last week.