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City payroll surpasses $60M

More than a third of all employees with the City of Kelowna cash annual paycheques in excess of $75,000 in 2013.

Those figures were released Thursday as part of the City's annual report.

Of the City's 772 full time employees, 289 or 37.4%, receive a wage in excess of the $75,000 threshold, an increase of 36 over 2012.

Those include management staff (102) firefighters (108) and CUPE workers (79).

The total wages paid is over $61M. When you factor in mayor and council and the employer portion of benefits, remuneration reaches $71.2M.

Of those, 105 employees topped out at over $100,000 in 2013, nearly double the year previous.

Director of Human Resources Stu Leatherdale, says the large jump in the number of employees earning in excess of $100,000 can be attributed to retroactive salary payments made to firefighters.

The number of firefighters surpassing that threshold was 67, compared with 23 in 2012.

"The provincially arbitrated settlement in 2012 with the International Association of Fire Fighters resulted in a $1-million payment of retroactive wages to Kelowna IAFF members in 2013," says Leatherdale.

"This one-time retro payment for 2010 and 2011 represents half of the overall 3.7% increase over 2012 remuneration costs. The balance of the increase in remuneration in 2013 was due to management and CUPE negotiated wage increases of 1.5% and increased demand for services."

The numbers may rise again this year as the City and CUPE work toward a new contract. The previous contract expired at the end of 2013.

While wages appear to be high, Leatherdale says Kelowna has a relatively low City staff-to-population ratio for cities that offer the same services.

He also points out Kelowna's tax rate of $1,748 for homeowners in an average home valued at $448,811 ranks 13th among the 17 BC cities with a population of 75,000 or greater.

"The diverse nature of services in local government requires a broad collection of expertise – engineers, systems analysts, Certified Professional Accountants, MBAs, heavy equipment operators and arborists to name a few," adds Leatherdale.

Here are the top 10 wage earners in 2013:

  • Ron Mattiussi, City Manager - $258,728
  • Paul Macklem, Deputy City Manager - $195,615
  • Jon Vos, Director Infrastructure and Planning - $192,048
  • Jim Paterson, Executive Director of Business Development - $169,574
  • Doug Gilchrest, Director of Community Planning and Real Estate - $158,671
  • Sam Samaddar, Airport Manager - $157,072
  • Joe Creron, Director of Civic Operations - $149,355
  • Jim Gabriel, Director of Active Living and Culture - $139,012
  • Tim Light, Fire Dept Platoon Captain - $139,384
  • Jeff Carlisle, Fire Chief - $137,322

Along with wages, the city also reported expenditures for goods and services in 2013 of $295.3M.

That's down $21.4M from 2012 and on par with expenditures in 2011.

The entire 2013 Annual Report will be presented to council on Monday.

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