Comparing wages between two city halls

Carter Haydu
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When it comes to setting the wages of senior administration within a municipality, City of Moose Jaw financial services director/acting city manager Brian Acker said it is important for city hall to maintain wages that are in the same proverbial ballpark as similar municipalities.

“Obviously, if you don’t keep (salaries) at a competitive level, people tend to leave,” he told the Times-Herald after Tuesday’s regular council meeting, where council received the 2011 municipal public accounts document, which includes the salaries of senior administration for the City of Moose Jaw, all employees earning over $50,000 per year, as well as the remuneration for local elected officials.

Acker said Moose Jaw tries to base its salaries partially on an evaluation process determining how much each position is worth. As well, he said, the city compares its salaries to elsewhere.

He said a very natural community for salary comparisons in Saskatchewan is similar-sized Prince Albert.

For example, Moose Jaw’s city manager Garry McKay pulled in the highest salary at city hall in 2011, earning $168,605. This is a $14,240 increase from the $154,365 he earned in 2010. However, McKay earned less than his counterpart in Prince Albert, where (according to a similar report to Prince Albert city council received on Tuesday) city manager Robert Cotterill earned $182,096 in 2011.

Acker said the position of city manager is one example where Moose Jaw senior administration still is not earning on par with other municipalities.

Acker himself earned $120,570 in 2011, while city clerk-solicitor Myron Gulka-Tiechko earned $120,533, parks and recreation director Jody Hauta received $119,741, and Mokles Rahman, city engineer, earned $121,763.

In Prince Albert, most senior administration appeared to earn a bit less than their Moose Jaw counterparts. Financial services director Joe Day earned $117,142, while city solicitor Ken Paskaruk earned $115,376. City clerk Cliff Skauge earned $97,941, while director of community services Gregory Zeeben earned $115,376.

Prince Albert’s city engineer Colin Innes earned a bit more than his Moose Jaw equivalent though, at $125,110.

The City of Prince Albert also has a director of corporate services position, held by Christopher Cvik. He made $126,059 in 2011. Moose Jaw, however, has a Mosaic Place and field house general manager, Scott Clark, who earned $119,840 last year.

Also in 2011, Moose Jaw Police Service Chief Dale Larson earned $128,926, while Moose Jaw Fire Department Chief Garth Palmer earned $118,349.

The police chief in Prince Albert, Dale McFee, earned $147,602 in 2011, while Prince Albert Fire Chief Leslie Karpluck earned $126,576.

As for elected officials, according to the 2011 municipal public accounts Mayor Glenn Hagel earned $63,247 last year, while Coun. Terry Coleman earned the highest councillor remuneration at $24,133. Coun. Heather Eby earned $22,550, while Coun. Dawn Luhning earned $22,422, and Coun. Don Mitchell earned $22,135.

Coun. Fraser Tolmie earned $21,942 in 2011, while Coun. Brian Swanson earned $21,938.

Councillors receive a base pay, with additional payments for duties such as serving as acting mayor and attending official business events outside the community.

In Prince Albert, Mayor Jim Scarrow earned $76,779 in 2011. There are eight council members in Prince Albert, with the highest remuneration reaching $27,238, and the lowest remuneration at $26,088.

Organizations: Times-Herald, Prince Albert

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

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Recent comments

  • Gayle
    August 08, 2012 - 18:53

    The staff of City Hall is under paid and under valued ,most of the departments have lost their key employees to provincial or federal jobs mainly because of salary,benefits and working conditions.Wake up council and pay these people what they are worth,give them a reason to stay in Moose Jaw so we have a functioning municipal government we can be proud of.

  • Don Hansen
    August 07, 2012 - 23:36

    Don't let the door hit him on the way out!