Alberni city management wages on block

City staff in Alberni have been ordered to examine management and non-union staff wages with an eye to cutting them.

City staff have been ordered to examine management and non-union staff wages with an eye to cutting them.

Coun. Wendy Kerr made the notice of motion at council’s March 10 meeting.

The matter was referred back to city council for deliberation in an in-camera meeting. Wages and labour issues are typically discussed in-camera.

“City staff wages was among the most common concerns outlined in the surveys we got back from the public,” Kerr said.

According to city manager Ken Watson there are 19 exempt employees on staff who make between $68,000 and $156,000 per year. Each of the 19 has an individual contract with the city.

“It’s at the top and that’s where the big money is at,” Kerr said. “I think when times were good then city staff got taken care of. But things aren’t the same, the economy’s not the same.”

Kerr wouldn’t speculate how much of a cut she was looking at. “But this conversation has to start somewhere and someone has to start it.”

City council recently voted to give itself a raise, but the optics of reducing some council wages must be taken in context. Council’s raise was below the average of other municipalities, Kerr said.

“And CUPE just got a one per cent increase in January. Well, one per cent of a $40,000 wage is a lot different than one per cent of a $100,000 wage.”

Kerr works at West Coast General Hospital and is a member of a union.  But she says she doesn’t feel like a hypocrite asking that negotiated contracts be opened up and wages examined for reduction.

“I’m a member of a union that took a 15 per cent wage cut. Myself and a lot of women in the union didn’t like it but we had to manage after and we did,” she said.

The issue is a tough one to tackle but it has to be broached, Kerr said. “There’s been a lot of pussyfooting around but people have talked about this and someone had to make a move.”

Contracts would have to be re-negotiated.

reporter@albrernivalleynews.csom

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

 

Just Posted

Fisheries Act fix doesn’t go far enough, says Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council

Not even close to what we need,’ MP Gord Johns says

Pension delays unacceptable, Courtenay-Alberni MP says

Some retiring vets, RCMP wait ‘months, years’

Armada boys drop first game of AAA North Island basketball championships

Alberni faces No. 1 seed Mark Isfeld in Saturday, Feb. 17 morning game

Alberni Armada senior girls play for Island bronze

Girls drop game to SMU, still have a shot at provincial basketball berth

Armada senior girls win first contest at AA Island championships

Hoops team faces SMU in game this evening at Mark Isfeld in Courtenay

North Island College opens its doors to Alberni, west coast students

More than 200 Grade 11 students check out programs offered at Alberni campus

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

VIDEO: Protesters rally for affordable housing ahead of B.C. budget

Residents call on province to keep locals housed

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Vancouver Island job market ever-evolving

Various sectors driving employment in region will be represented at Black Press career fair in Comox Feb. 8

Liberals to dig deeper, aim higher on gender equality in 2018 federal budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the budget would include measures to boost women in the workforce

Vancouver Island’s Teal Harle finishes fifth in Olympic Men’s Slopestyle skiing

‘I’ve definitely surpassed every expectation I had for the Games’ – Harle

Body of missing skier found

Man’s truck found in Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s parking lot covered in ‘several days’ snow’

Most Read