Most Town employees are covered by a Union agreement but there are 36 positions not covered by the Union Agreement. A review in 2017 determined that the salaries for some positions were quite low compared to the competitive pay market – but these rates have not yet been adopted. The stated policy is to be competitive with comparable Towns and to be at the 50th percentile – that is, at the median of salaries paid by comparable Towns for similar positions. At the Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting on 6 January, Human Relations Manager Melissa Henke will present a report recommending adoption of a revised pay grid for non-Union (Management) employees and adjustment of some positions/employees on the grid.
If the new rates are adopted, the budget impact for 2020 could be as high as $160,000 – or 0.66% of the draft budget amount but it’s not clear what the actual budget impact will be (see below).
There was also a review of pay equity but no adjustments were found to be necessary.
The report covers confidential employee pay rates, so that individual salaries are not disclosed, but the report does provide the total impact on 2020 budgets for three options to adopt a new grid and adjust the uncompetitive salaries.
And although the new grid is provided, the previous grid is not provided so a direct comparison is not possible.
2020 Grades proposed
|Grade||Level #1||Level #2||Level #3||Level #4||Level #5||Grade
I wonder whether anyone will accept a promotion from level 5 to 6? Looks like an error or at least an anomaly!
There are 13 grades in the new grid compared to 16 currently so most employees will have new grades.
Move all adjusted positions to their new Grade. The Level to be the same Level as the incumbent. Extra salary cost would be $140,573.27 plus $19,680.26 for OMERS (pension) contributions – total cost increase $160,253.53.
Move all adjusted positions to their new Grade but at a level giving the same rate as the salary that the current incumbent is currently receiving (or nearest above) except that if they have at least 10 years’ experience in their current position they go to level 4. This option would cost $92,206.56 for salaries and a $13,462.14 increase in pension contributions. Total cost is $105,668.71.
Move all adjusted positions to their new Grade at the level nearest (and above) to the pay of the current incumbent and move non-adjusted positions to the rate the same as or above what the current incumbent is currently receiving. This option would cost $45,127.09 for salaries and a $6,626.58 increase in pension contributions. Total $51,753.67.
For options 2 and 3, future years would see 4% increases as employees move up levels.
Note: the original report uses difficult to decipher language – hopefully I’ve “translated” correctly here. For example, it’s not clear what is meant by “incumbent” in this context – the language used is obviously generalized to avoid indicating which salaries get adjusted but in doing so, the meaning gets lost. The original can be downloaded from the links below.
However, there are budget implications. If there are no cuts made elsewhere, and if this is not already included in the draft budget, the increase will go well over the budget increase goal of 2%. It’s likely that the draft budget already includes a 1.5% across the board increase so the impact could well be minimal, especially for option 3.
ML Consulting (Marianne Love) was hired for the review and is also scheduled to make a presentation at the Council meeting. Marianne describes the process used. She also says that no Pay Equity adjustments are needed and that the grades are separated by 10 points although this does not agree with the grid provided. Download her presentation from the Links below.
At Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting on 6 January, Council decided to go with option 3. Emily Chorley emphasized the need to review compensation policy.
Update – 13 Jan 2020
Motions at the Committee of the Whole are routinely approved at the following regular Council meeting but there are exceptions. At the council meeting on 13 January, when it came time to approve the motion to increase the pay of Town employees per Option 3, Brian Darling moved to change that to Option 1. The difference is that Option 3 would cost $51K and Option 1 would cost $160K but would actually bring salaries to the goal of the 50th percentile instead of getting closer to the goal. Brian felt that paying better would reduce turnover of staff because the Town currently does not pay competitive salaries. Since the original motion was passed, Council has decided on a budget and Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin said she was disappointed that the issue was not raised during budget discussions because of the impact of the extra $109K.
Finance Director Ian Davey introduced the newly hired HR manager (perhaps interim?), Colleen McBride, and she said she had looked closely at the recommendations of the previous HR manager Melissa Henke and said that she strongly supported Option 1 and that it was the right thing to do.
Councillors generally agreed with Brian except for Emily Chorley who wanted a revised compensation policy that emphasized “pay for performance” together with annual performance reviews – which do not currently happen. Brian asked that the Treasurer should attempt to find the extra money from reserves or other non-levy sources. The motion passed 5-2.
If no non-levy sources are found, then the tax increase will no longer be 2.2% but instead will be 2.7%.