Since Mayor Christian Provenzano started his second term in 2018, the Sunshine List for just city hall employees has grown by over a dozen people.
Some of the positions which made the list this year, which weren’t back in 2018, when conducting a search for the City of Sault Ste. Marie include, Manager GFL Centre, City Clerk and a Return to Work Coordinator.
To keep things fair, we removed the front line workers on each list, mainly firefighters, as their compensation can vary depending on overtime etc. We did leave anyone at the Fire Department who isn’t considered a front line position out of this report.
In 2018, there were 35 members of the city staff that made it onto the Sunshine List. The total compensation paid for their roles was $4,335,187.
Tessa Vecchio, Communications Manager for the City, wrote to me yesterday noting that my previous story on the Sunshine List, ‘Multiple city employees received over 5% raise during pandemic’, was “misleading and inaccurate.”
“The annual increase for non-union staff was 1.78%. The reason for this is in part due to retro pay for non-union staff and increased base salary from interest arbitration. Once all of the City’s bargaining unit contracts are finalized, the increase of non-union wage is calculated as an average of those settlements. There is a fair amount of time that passes as these contracts get negotiated hence why you see the 1.78% increase present itself in 2020.
In addition, some of the increases are attributed to non-union pay roll grid movement that commensurate as a result of years of service.”
This may be true, if you count all the non-union city employees, but for employees who make over $100,000, numbers don’t lie.
In a city where the Mayor and councillors are focused on core services and keeping the tax rate low, 15 new members to the list doesn’t appear to add up.