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New contract includes higher pay, fewer bonuses for Whitehorse city management

Nearly 30 city staff will get an annual pay bump until the end of 2018 if Whitehorse City Council approves a new bylaw.

Nearly 30 city staff will get an annual pay bump until the end of 2018 if Whitehorse City Council approves a new bylaw.

The city has been without a valid management staff bylaw since the last one expired at the end of 2014. That’s the bylaw that lays out how much some high-ranking, non-unionized city staff get paid.

Council gave first reading to a new bylaw, which would be retroactive to 2015 and run through 2018, at its meeting Monday.

The changes work out to about a seven per cent salary increase over four years for management and a six per cent increase over the same period of time for management support staff, said city spokesperson Jessica Apolloni.

Management includes the city’s directors, managers and the fire chief. Management staff include positions such as the assistant city clerk or the executive assistant for mayor and council.

If the new deal is approved, both groups will see a 1.5 per cent wage increase retroactively from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2015 and one per cent each year after that to the end of 2018.

Temporary or casual employees will see the same bump.

A sizable part of the overall increase will actually come from changes to how the city’s registered retirement savings plan works.

Under the old bylaw, management-level employees were required to put five per cent of their salary aside for an RRSP. Management support staff had a 4.5 per cent requirement. But that wasn’t the only chunk of money taken off everyone’s paycheque. A second required contribution of 4.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent respectively was called the “employer portion” but came out of the employees’ gross pay.

The city then contributed 3.5 per cent to RRSPs from money outside of salary.

Under the new rules, the mandatory employer portion that used to come off paycheques will be covered outside of salary as well.

City manager Christine Smith said the increases are all within the city’s approved budgets.

Along with the pay hikes, some cuts are part of this new deal. The number of vacation days would be reduced, and an attendance bonus and a long-service bonus for new hires would be eliminated, according to a report presented to city council.

As of the end of 2018 the salary for the lowest ranked management employee will be between $90,901.90 and $102,392.77 a year. The highest job on the scale could rake in much as $159,894.83 a year.

For management support staff, 2018 salaries will range from $49,587.18 to $90,615.82.

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