Are city managers prepared to dig a little deeper this Christmas season to help balance Vancouver's books?
An interesting bit of correspondence arrived in our inbox today which might be of interest to everyone watching Vancouver's budget proceedings. The email is from Scott Edwards who works in the Engineering Department. Edwards heads up VACMPS, the association that represents all the exempt management employees at City Hall. It was sent to all exempt staff in Vancouver asking them if they would be prepared to give up their scheduled 4% pay raise scheduled to take effect on January 1st. They've been asked to complete a short online survey prior to November 27th.
According to the internal memo, City Manager Penny Ballem brought up the subject on November 12th at a "Connecting the Dots" meeting. Here is a copy of the email:
Sent: Friday, November 20, 2009 12:34 PM
To: Staff Eligible for VACMPS (Police) - DL; Staff Eligible for VACMPS (Library) - DL; Staff Eligible for VACMPS - DL
Subject: VACMPS - Survey of Exempt Staff on 2010 Wages
At the "Connecting the Dots" meeting with the City Manager on November 12th, a discussion took place about the possibility of exempt staff foregoing all or a portion of the 2010 wage increase of 4% in order to mitigate the impact of reductions within the Operating budget.
We are asking you to complete the survey before November 27th by following the link noted below. As with previous surveys conducted by VACMPS, your responses will remain anonymous.
Should you have any questions please feel free to contact VACMPS via email.
Scott Edwards, P.Eng.
There have been rumours swirling for months that managers were going to be asked to forgo their pay hike. That's because Paul Faoro, CUPE 15 has been recommending to Council that this tool be used as a means to balance the 2010 budget. There is no word yet on whether the civic unions are also preparing to postpone some, or all of their 4% pay increase also scheduled to take effect on January 1st.
As for the survey results, they are considered confidential. We're uncertain as to what the management association is prepared to do if their members indicate they don't want to give up their raise. Perhaps go on strike? This is going to get interesting, folks.
NEW: Check out our online poll on this subject