In a statement, Councillors Nando Iannicca, Carmen Corbasson and Sue McFadden said they had no choice but to resign, accusing fellow councillors of "crass politics, hypocrisy and cowardice" for cutting their pay.
"The personal attacks by council became an issue of confidence, so we did the honourable thing and resigned," the statement said.
It came one day after the board of Enersource, based on legal advice, decided that only Mississauga, which owns 90 per cent of the utility, and minority shareholder Borealis could determine salaries, not board members themselves.
The saga began in April, when council slashed the salaries of its eight appointees to the 10-member board. Earning $32,000 to $45,000 a year, Enersource's board members had been among the highest paid at a GTA municipal utility. Their pay was slashed by council to $15,000; the chair's pay from $75,000 to $45,000 a year.
Following a quiet rebellion by the three councillors on the board, city council eliminated their salaries for Enersource service altogether, except for a $500 stipend to attend committee meetings.
Borealis had initially vetoed the pay cuts, leading to a tense standoff between the shareholders.
But late in October it agreed to the council-ordered cuts.
Iannicca, Corbasson and McFadden refused to agree to the council-ordered cuts and instead joined the board in seeking the opinion of an outside consultant on their salaries. Just last month, the three refused to sign an "irrevocable" agreement to accept the reduced compensation.
That's when council voted 5-3 to cut their pay (though not of the citizen appointees) down to nothing.
Mayor Hazel McCallion, who also sits on the board, deftly sidestepped criticism by giving up her board salary entirely when the pay issue became controversial earlier this year.