Report reveals number of city employees earning $100K+ on the rise in '09

Post by Staff in


lotsa cash
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.


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


Would love it if the list could be expanded in include department and job title - a useful resource for salary comparisons.

Mark, you would find it much more interesting to know how well (or not) these folks actually do their jobs, although you wouldn't want to obtain that information right before a meal. If you catch my drift.

Welcome to Greece.

So does someone who puts in 30 years with the city, and averages $200k for the last 5 years actually get a $120,000/year indexed pension for life?

In a deep recession, union wages over $75,000 ~alone~ rose over 17%. That's theft, and while so many of their beloved 'brothers and sisters' lives were severely damaged through dismissal.

Pure, undeserved greed.

G.deAuexerre, for clarity sake, most of these wages here are from exempt staff.

"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."

Why would seeing the extremely high $200k+ salaries of exempt staff at the top make the public hostile to a living wage of just over $18 an hour??

Wait! Didn't you report last year that Jody Andrews quit?? He left in mid Jan 2009. By the amount you noted, he must have sued the city? Didn't the city report that he quit? Something smells...

@Rachel. Thanks for the tip. We're already investigating that angle and will report what we find.

Y'know, the fact that these folks are making over $100K doesn't bother me in the least. Why? Real estate & the cost of living in this city is ridiculous. *EVERYONE* should be making at least $100K a year, if not more.

@mike. If everyone was making $100K+ in Vancouver, the cost of housing would be $4 million+ for an average bungalow. Who are you kidding? Socialists don't understand the basics of economics. If everyone gets paid $100K, this becomes the new $8 minimum wage. Prices will go up accordingly and nobody will be better off. If you don't like the current system in Canada, I suggest you move to Greece or Cuba to see how their economy is fairing.

I'm not a fan of commies either, but if you think Canada is running a capitalist system my friend, you know even less about economics than Mike. Socialists understand economics, usually a lot better than Keynesians. Socialists' problem is they refuse to accept that human behaviour, instincts, the human need to build, expand, seek freedom, conquer, hoard and protect, are not removable from the consciousness of humanity. They fail to accept nature.

Thanks for the story. While the top salaries say something about the compensation. People do not pay themselves and the salaries are not significantly different from the City of Toronto or comparable cities. It might be interesting to see who the lowest paid workers are and how their salaries compare to comparable cities.

Check out!

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