Many City of Vancouver employees earn considerably more than a "living wage"
A report entitled the 2009 Statement of Financial Information was posted on the City of Vancouver's website today. It may sound like a dull report, but when it comes out it has almost everyone at city hall scurrying around to see what's in it. That's because it includes a full listing of the salaries of all employees earning above $75,000. If our crack research team have properly crunched the numbers, there were approximately 300 employees earning in excess of $100,000 in 2009. That compares to 228 in the previous calendar year.
In 2008, the City paid out $115,350,455 in salary to those making over $75K. In 2009, that number had jumped to $135,263,763. Some other interesting tidbits from the report include the fact former Deputy City Manager Jody Andrews received $76,014 in 2009, despite the fact he only worked a couple of weeks into the year. City Manager Penny Ballem (a staffer who we had originally been told was not taking a pay increase in 2009) earned $313,577. As Penny would say...her salary is just a "drop in the bucket".
A few other employees were not too far behind Ballem in 2009 when it comes to earnings. Here is a partial list:
- Ken Bayne, Finance Dept - $217,817
- Francie Connell, Legal Dept - $228,869
- Ray Holdgate, Former Fire Chief - $276,974
- Dave Rudberg, Former Olympic Guy - $223,078
- Tom Timm, City Engineer who's packing it in -$233,766
- TP Armstrong - $266,100
By comparison, it should be noted that some City Councillors (a.k.a. the Board of Directors) earn a paltry $62K in salary each year. This is despite putting in long hours and having to put up with living in a bubble.
Given the staff report released today regarding public service salaries, we're not sure Councillor David "carbon" Cadman's motion regarding a "living wage" will go over too well with the public. Here is the motion in its entirety:
1. The Living Wage is an hourly rate of pay that enables a family of two
parents and two children with seventy hours of paid employment per
week to meet their basic needs, ensure healthy childhood development,
and to participate in the civic/social life of their community.
2. People who work in Vancouver should be able to afford to live in
3. Over 150 American municipalities have implemented a Living Wage
4. New Westminster just passed a family Living Wage policy that applies to
direct staff and all contractors who work on city property.
5. The City of Vancouver should be leading the way in setting a wage
standard that ensures families escape severe financial stress.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED
THAT staff be directed to report back by September 2010 on the following:
1. The cost of bringing all part time and full time City and Park Board
employees to a Living Wage of $18.17.
2. The approximate cost of bringing all persons who perform physical work
on City premises and properties to the Living Wage (including
3. The approximate cost of ensuring that contractors with future contracts
valued at $100,000 or more provide a Living Wage of $18.17 to their
4. The approximate cost of ensuring that contractors with future contracts
valued at $20,000 or more provide a Living Wage of $18.17 to their
The motion will be debated sometime next week. It should be noted that New Westminster's living wage policy was set at just over $16 bucks, while Cadman has increased that number to $18.17 in Vancouver. It is conservatively estimated the "living wage" policy will cost New Westminster taxpayers about $150,000 per year to implement.
Frances Bula indicated last week on CKNW that Vision Vancouver wasn't supportive of introducing a "living wage". It will be interesting to see if Vision endorses Cadman's motion, then asks the City Manager to take a long...and we mean LONG LOOOOOONG time to bring this report back for debate. It will be tough for Vision, a party that claims to be socially progressive, to vote against a "living wage".
- post by Daniel