City Cast

How Much Does Your Alder Make?

Sidney Madden
Sidney Madden
Posted on September 13
The city of Chicago flag hangs across from City Hall

The city of Chicago flag hangs across from City Hall. (Antonio Perez / Tribune / Getty)

The city’s highest-paid alders could soon make $145,970 if they allow an automatic raise to go into effect this week.

The possible 2.24% bump comes after last year’s near-10% hike that was tied to record inflation, according to the Tribune. While 17 alders opted out of the raise then, a new City Council class has since been elected.

First, Why Do Alders Get Automatic Pay Raises?

Alders approved in 2006 annual raises tied to the consumer price index. Since then, individual alders decide whether to accept the annual increase or decline it.

Who Are the Highest and Lowest-Paid Alders?

Of the city’s 50 alders, 31 currently make $142,776. That includes the 13 first-term alders who were elected in the spring and didn’t vote on the automatic increase last year, according to city data.

The lowest-paid alders who have forgone several salary bumps over the years are 36th Ward Ald. Gilbert Villegas, who makes $115,560, and 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn, who makes $115,800.

And that’s just from the city: Being an alder is still technically a part-time job.

Who Else at City Hall Could See Raises?

Mayor Brandon Johnson, City Clerk Anna Valencia, and City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin could also see the 2.24% bump unless they opt out. Former Mayor Lori Lightfoot got the provision into this year’s budget.

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