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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

HRM finally releases its sunshine list

Here’s every municipal employee in Halifax making more than $100,000.

Posted By on Tue, Aug 23, 2016 at 4:00 AM

I'm walking on sunshine, woooah...
  • I'm walking on sunshine, woooah...

[Ed: Spokesperson Brendan Elliott lets us know there are 453 people working for the fire department as of June 30, and 788 in various capacities in the police department. That puts 47 percent of Fire and Emergency on the sunshine list, and 37 percent of HRP, instead of the 44 and 57 percent numbers quoted below. The number of HRM staff fluctuates throughout the year, Elliott writes in an email, but as of June 30 there were 3,578 active employees (not counting library staff, volunteer firefighters, council, anyone on a leave of absence, part-time and recreation programming staff). With 665 names on the sunshine list, that works out to 18.5 percent of HRM’s employees making $100,000 or more.]

In what's gotta be disappointing news for HRM's Satanists, only 665 municipal employees earned more than $100,000 last fiscal year.

That's according to Halifax's sunshine list, which was finally released yesterday by city hall. It includes anyone the municipality directly or indirectly paid $100,000 or more to over the last fiscal year—including councillors, contractors, consultants and employees.

Probably due to overtime pay, the list is mostly filled with cops and firefighters. Based on The Coast's rudimentary count (the file wasn't released in a spreadsheet), roughly 57 percent of Halifax Regional Police officers are making over $100,000. The same is true for about 44 percent of Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency personnel. 

That’s based on the 516 full- and part-time employees HRP has—293 of whom show up on city hall’s sunshine list. The fire department had 489 full-time equivalent positions last fiscal year, and 213 names on the list.

Halifax Public Libraries, for comparison, has 513 employees (including 38 managers and non-union positions), but only seven employees who make over $100,000 a year (when factoring in benefits).

The largest payment to an individual—to no great shock or surprise—was paid to outgoing chief administrative officer Richard Butts, who collected $346,336 last fiscal year.

Coming up behind Butts is Halifax Water general manager Carl Yates, whose salary and benefits equaled $237,567.

Former deputy CAO Mike Labrecque, who left HRM in March, earned $228,395. That’s slightly ahead of acting chief administrative officer John Traves, who pulled in $218,664 in total payments last fiscal year.

Fire chief Doug Trussler earned $206,000, and police chief Jean-Michel Blais took in $205,000 in the same period.

Wages paid to employees include any salary, overtime, retirement, severance, lump-sum and vacation payments. Benefits include vehicles and allowances, living accommodations and other non-cash payments.

Police sergeant Randy Stoddard only earned a salary/wages of $88,476 last year, for example. But the sergeant also took in an extra $52,915 in other benefits, for a total calculated payment of $141,391. 

Paula Saulnier, director of planning and development with the library board, received $59,873 in benefits—equal to about 90 percent of her $68,096 salary/wages. Police constable Gordon Waterfield was another benefits outlier, earning an extra $44,621 on top of his $72,963 in salary/wages. 

Mayor Mike Savage is the only elected official on the list, with $177,000 in salary and wages.

The first ever HRM sunshine list was approved by council last November, and will be released annually from here on out. You can read the full document below.

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