The City of Salmon Arm is contracting out a review of senior staff salaries, as well as remuneration for city council – a body that hasn’t seen a pay raise for more than a decade.
A request for proposals was put out by the city last week for a what’s being called a Council Remuneration and Management/Exempt Staff and Benefit Review.
Mayor Nancy Cooper says what the city, and council is looking for is a professional, independent review. She notes there hasn’t been a pay raise for the mayor or councillors since 2003.
“None of this is binding, we’re just going to have a look at it and then they’ll decide,” said Cooper. “It’s the same for senior staff – we’re seeing a number of staff are being recruited to other municipalities for wages that are quite a bit higher than what we’re paying here.”
The city’s annual reports for 2003 and 2012 show remuneration for the positions of mayor and councillor have remained relatively static at $44,800 and $15,000 respectively.
In that same time period, the salary for the position of administrator (excluding expenses) increased from $99,000 to $175,450, finance director (now chief financial officer) from $82,529 to $116,333, and operations director (engineering and public works director) from $85,502 to $103,807.
“We do need to pay our people appropriately; we don’t want to be losing them because of funding,” noted Cooper.
“But also, there’s a limit to what we can do. So it’s a real fine line to what we’re working with here.”
Asked why the report isn’t being done internally, Cooper said it was last done by the city’s human relations person, a position that recently changed hands.
“Going out to an independent agency seemed the best course of action,” said Cooper.