City council in Whitehorse on June 17, 2019. City of Whitehorse management and confidential exclusion staff could be in for larger pay cheques if council moves forward with a proposed bylaw governing their wages. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

City management could see pay raise

Proposed bylaw outlines management pay from 2019 to 2022

City of Whitehorse management and confidential exclusion staff could be in for larger paycheques if council moves forward with a proposed bylaw governing their wages.

The change would see the four highest-paid directors for the city earn more than $200,000 a year by the final year of the bylaw in 2022.

The bylaw was brought forward to city council at its Sept. 8 meeting with acting director of human resources Lindsay Schneider outlining proposed increases that would date back to 2019.

As Schneider explained, management and exclusion employees have been working without a bylaw in place after the last bylaw ended on Dec. 31, 2018.

She noted work on the bylaw did not get underway until the beginning of 2019 because the city was without a manager of human resources through part of 2018. When a new manager was hired they began work on it with a consultant hired to talk with staff who fall under the bylaw and look at pay for comparable positions in other jurisdictions and at other major employers within the Yukon.

That work resulted in the proposed wage increases.

While much of the work to draft a new bylaw was finished by the spring, Schneider explained with COVID-19 priorities shifted to deal with the impact of the pandemic on the city.

The bylaw is now ready to be considered, she said.

Schneider stated in the report that work by the consultant found “many of the positions were under-market in comparison to comparable local organizations or municipalities in B.C., Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

“The new bylaw proposes to create adjusted salary ranges for each position in the management group.”

Raises are outlined in each of the four years of the bylaw beginning at an increase of 2.6 per cent retroactive for 2019.

Under those terms, the highest-paid directors for corporate services; community and recreation services; development services; and infrastructure and operations would be paid between $133,291 and $164,062.

On the other end of the management pay scale is the manager of strategic communications whose salary would be between a minimum of $102,191 and $115,139.

That would be followed by another increase of 2.6 per cent from Jan. 1, 2020 to whenever the bylaw is passed, bringing up the salaries of the four highest-paid directors to between $136,761 and $168,335. At the other end of the scale, the manager of strategic communications would make between $104,858 and $118,134.

Another increase based on market adjustment plus the greater of 1.25 per cent or the CPI, would follow from the date the bylaw is passed to the end of 2020.

For each 2021 and 2022, increases would be whichever is greater of 1.25 per cent or the CPI.

Though the precise amounts could change and new schedules would be published annually, based on a 1.25 per cent increase, the highest-paid directors would earn between $160,499 and $198,007 in 2021 and between $162,495 and $200,492 in the final year of the bylaw.

In the final year for the bylaw, it is the manager of legislative services listed as the position with the lowest management pay estimated between a minimum of $111,252 and $138,253 based on the 1.25 per cent increase (which could change if the CPI is higher).

Schneider explained this is due to the change the city is making in moving from the current system to a market-based system for pay which factors in how similar positions are compensated in other areas and organizations. It will see pay scales for some positions changed.

With pay set to increase, so too will the number of work hours set in a standard week. They would rise by 2.5 hours from 35 to 37.5, a move Schneider said “would better align with the hours that managers at Yukon government are currently working and better reflects what managers at the city report working on a regular basis.”

Under the bylaw, the health spending allowance would increase from the current rate of $500 per year to $1,500, an amount it’s stated that “will better reflect the cost of the average Canadian family’s health-related expenditures.”

There would also be an increase in the employer’s RRSP contribution of one per cent. Under the bylaw, a minimum contribution required is 14 per cent, with the city contributing nine per cent while the employee contributes five per cent.

The bylaw would also align all management staff hired before and after 2016, as currently there is a division of benefits depending on when staff was hired.

Also detailed in the document are vacation time, various leaves, long-service bonuses, benefits and so on.

Council will vote on first reading of the bylaw Sept. 14.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

Whitehorse city council

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