Since 2018, Sunshine List up over $2.1 million

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City hall

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.

The list grew to 50 members in 2020, again removing front line firefighters, totaling $6,522,899 in compensation.

The difference between the 2018 Sunshine List compensation and the 2020 is $2,187,712.

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.

5 COMMENTS

  1. No matter what the argument is, some if not most of these people are making way too much money for what they do. Just look at our city and see how in disrepair and in efficient it is. I see no job on these list that is worth anymore than $125,000/year. You can see why we have no money to fix our city, its all going to over inflated wages.

  2. The issue is not so much people earning more (people are on sliding scales), it’s the high end of those scales and the inconsistency of job titles (there are a few that are effectively people managers but look like standalone positions).

    Other than that there is plenty to argue with regards to pay rates for various positions or redundancy but I wouldn’t say they’re adding new sunshiners at an alarming rate. Could management be trimmed? Sure. Could pay rates be adjusted after people retire? Depends if there’s union agreements that define that positions in a contract but sure.

    Big thing here is that City Hall has a good chunk of people close to retirement, so they’re going to be earning near or at the top of their scale.

  3. The city clerk position changed personnel mid-year so the person in that position would not have earned a full salary for that particular year. The job exists, the employee just didn’t have an income over the threshold that year, as they were only employed in the position for a few months after Malcom White became CAO.

  4. Misleading and inaccurate. For one, there should have been a City Clerk on the list for 2018 as it is a statutorily-required position, which suggests to me that your initial list is incomplete. Two, there could have been 15 people earning $95K in 2018 who didn’t have to be disclosed. Now in 2021 they are on the list but it’s not exactly accurate to say that they represent $1.5 million in new salary, as they were there before accounting for $1.425 million but just not disclosed. You would need to go back and analyze the growth in total administrative salaries from 2018 until now in order to be telling us much of anything.

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