By David F. Rooney
Taxpayers paid more than $1.65 million in remuneration to 16 municipal employees in 2013, says a report from City Hall.
A statement from our local government said provincial law requires all municipalities to release information about the remuneration paid to employees earning more than $75,000 (including taxable benefits) by the end of June. The total number of employees in the city earning over $75,000 was unchanged at 16 for 2013. They earned a total of $1,656,384.06 in pay and claimed expenses $27,811.41. Please click here to read the list, which does not include names.
Retroactive pay for Revelstoke firefighters accounted for about 45% of the increase in the total salaries over $75,000 paid to city employees in 2013. Additionally, taxable benefits have been included in the total remuneration. These were not included in previous years, the statement said.
Firefighters were awarded a 3 percent retroactive increase for both 2010 and 2011. This was paid out in 2013. Therefore, if a firefighter made $90,000 in 2009 they would have made $95,481 for 2011 and onwards. The firefighters’ retroactive pay included on the salaries over $75,000 list, amounted to a total of $80,589. A firefighter’s pay is based on a 42 hour work week whereas most other city employees work a 40 hour work week.
The highest-paid City of Revelstoke employee was a firefighter earning $145,309, including all retro pay, overtime and taxable benefits. The next three highest paid city employees were the Chief Administrative Officer at $139,513, the Director of Engineering and Development Services at $122,905.66, and a firefighter at $120,676. All these numbers include taxable benefits as well as retro pay and overtime for the firefighter.
But this is only part of the picture. The average firefighter salary is, according to the City payroll department, $71,955.28 with average overtime pay of $8,060.04. And the average management salary amounts to $83,914.94. Meanwhile, the average municipal employee who belongs to the Canadian Union of Public Employees is paid just $32,621.65.
“While presentation of these payments is required by law, it also provides an opportunity for open and transparent government and fostering an understanding of the increasing budget pressure within the city,” Mayor David Raven said in the statement. “I encourage citizens to review the 2013 Annual Report for the City of Revelstoke which is available on the City’s website.” Please click here to read the City’s annual report.
Unionized municipal employees had a 1.5 per cent increase in pay last year according to the terms of the contract negotiated between the city and the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
Mayor David Raven received $28,000 in remuneration last year, plus $3,318.20 in expenses. The city spent $84,000 on remuneration for its six councillors, $4,185.79 in expenses, for a total of $119,503.99 for mayor and Council.
The City of Revelstoke uses contracted services where feasible in an effort to keep overall costs lower.