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114 on Abbotsford city payroll earn more than $100K

Abbotsford City Hall - File photo
Abbotsford City Hall
— image credit: File photo

City staff earning more than $100,000 in annual salaries increased to 114 last year, compared to 88 in 2012, according to the city’s 2013 financial statements presented to council on Monday.

According to the report, staff earning more than $75,000 last year totalled 231 – compared to 222 the previous year. Of those, 93 were firefighters, 58 of whom made more than $100,000 in 2013. Police salaries are not included in this list, as the city is not required to disclose this information.

There are about 800 people on the city’s payroll.

A one-time retroactive payment for union contract settlements played a role in pushing up city employees’ earnings last year.

Both the firefighters’ union (IAFF) and the city staff’s union (CUPE) settled their collective agreements one to two years after they expired, and retro pay bumped some earners over the $75,000 and $100,000 marks.

Seven CUPE employees and three IAFF employees were lifted over the $75,000 threshold by retroactive and retirement payouts.

The CUPE agreement was settled last year, with a 1.25 per cent increase for 2012 and 1.75 for 2013. IAFF settled in 2013, with increases of 1.5 per cent in January and July 2010, 1.25 per cent increases in January and July of 2011, and a hike of 0.5 per cent in December 2011.

The city’s highest earner last year was city manager George Murray, earning $207,749 between February – when he joined the city – and the end of the year. Murray released his contract at the time of his hiring, which indicated his full salary is $230,000.

Murray took over the position from Frank Pizzuto, who was paid $252,365 to serve in the city’s top administrative position in 2012 and was paid $321,000 in severance when he left the position.

In previous years, general managers of city departments were among the highest earners, but with the death of general manager of parks and recreation Mark Taylor in March of last year, and the departure of general managers Jay Teichroeb (economic development) and Pat Soanes (finance) in June, the city did not pay out full annual salaries to those employees.

Jim Gordon, general manager of engineering, made $203,119 last year compared to $205,699 in 2012, representing a 1.2 per cent decrease. Between 2011 and 2012, his pay increase was 2.8 per cent, and between 2010 and 2011, it jumped 14 per cent.

Mike Pastro, manager of the Abbotsford International Airport, was paid $181,621 in 2013, a 3.3 per cent increase from 2012. Pastro saw a 5.7 per cent increase between 2011 and 2012, and a 20 per cent salary spike between 2010 and 2011.

Don Beer, general manager of fire services, was paid $175,347 – a 5.2 per cent increase from 2012.

The report included payments to elected officials, with Mayor Bruce Banman making $95,200, plus an $8,400 vehicle allowance and $7,117 in expenses.

Councillor earnings vary depending on expenses and indemnity paid for attending water and sewer commissions or for acting as mayor.

The highest indemnity for a councillor was John Smith at $39,469, who also had the lowest expenses at $316. The lowest indemnity was to Coun. Les Barkman, Moe Gill and Dave Loewen at $37,500. Coun. Patricia Ross had the highest expenses at $5,305, with $37,820 in indemnity.

Former councillor Simon Gibson was paid only $16,956 in 2013, as he discontinued his payments after being elected as an MLA in the provincial election.

Though the number of staff with high earnings rose, including those earning more than $100,0000, Murray said there won’t be retroactive payments for union members this year, “therefore, I anticipate that our number of staff earning over $100,000 will level out in 2014.”

The city’s total payroll, including those who make less than $75,000, was $47.8 million in 2013 (not including expenses). In 2012, it was $46.2 million, and $45.8 million in 2011.

The city’s total 2013 budget was about $250 million, with an operating budget of roughly $170 million and a capital budget of $80 million.

In accordance with the Financial Information Act, the city must report all elected officials’ salaries and all employees making more than $75,000. The act excludes police departments.

To download the full financial disclosure report, click the link.

 

Top five salaries in 2013 (excluding police):

 

George Murray, city manager, $207,749 plus $4,423 expenses

Jim Gordon, general manager engineering, $203,119 plus $3,319

Mike Pastro, airport manager, $181,621 plus $80

Don Beer, general manager of fire services and fire chief, $175,347 plus $5,642

Heidi Enns, general manager parks and recreation, $148,452 plus $700

 

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