Abbotsford city payroll declines in 2016

Fewer pay periods and retirements leads to drop in number of high-earners

The amount of money paid to city employees dipped in 2016, confirming that the previous year’s rise was mainly linked to an extra pay period.

Remuneration for city employees slid 3.8 per cent in 2016 from the previous year. The bulk of that decline, according to a report to council this week, is due to the fact that 2015 was an anomaly, with 27 pay periods.

With the city back to the typical 26-pay-period year, total remuneration for employees was $49.3 million – about $2 million less than 2015. In addition to the pay-period effect, a decrease in overtime pay, retirement payouts and contractual salary increases for firefighters also contributed to the decline in pay.

Omitting 2015’s anomalous year, remuneration for city employees grew one per cent between 2014 and 2016, according to the report.

The number of workers making more than $75,000 was 257 in 2016. That’s down from 270 in 2015, but up from 234 in 2014.

While the list of workers making more than $75,000 saw 20 additions last year – mainly new hires or those who received promotions or increases in rank – they were balanced out by the 19 high-earners who retired. Another 14 reached the threshold in 2015 due to the extra pay period or overtime.

Last year, a total of 25 city workers retired, one more than expected. It is the seventh consecutive year the number of retirements from the city has increased. Last year, city manager George Murray told The News an aging population and workforce is forcing the city to continually replace staffers with decades of knowledge and know-how.

“As the boomers are leaving, it is more challenging,” he said. “We’re retiring people with 20, 25 and 30 years experience.


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tolsen@abbynews.com

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