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Number of top earners increases at Nanaimo city hall

More than a dozen Nanaimo city employees were added to the municipality’s roster of top-earners last year.

The city’s 2013 annual Statement of Financial Information shows that 213 city employees made more than $75,000 in 2013, up from 198 in 2012. It cost the city $21.6 million in remuneration.

According to the report, the city lost five members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees from its list of top-salaried employees, but added 20 managers and members of the International Association of Fire Fighters, accounting for the increase. According to the report, a new contract settlement saw IAFF members get retroactive salary payments which led to the new additions.

Overall, protective services dominated the 2013 roster, accounting for approximately 46 per cent of the highest-paid employees and about $10.2 million in salaries. Eighty-six IAFF members made the list and 44 had remuneration higher than $100,000.

City manager Ted Swabey said the city doesn’t have the power to negotiate salaries, which are set through arbitration. The cost has become a challenge for all communities, he added.

“I think it’s going to get to the point where the system needs to be evaluated in a different way,” he said. “It is what it is until it changes and change will take the province to make changes and I don’t see that happening any time soon.”

The annual financial report shows shows last year’s highest earner was retired city manager Al Kenning, who made $237,767, followed by city manager Ted Swabey at $199,219 and Per Kristensen, former director of information technology, whose salary amounted to $179,448.

Staff members with Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation also cracked the $75,000 list, including its chief executive officer Sasha Angus, whose remuneration was $122,738 and Amrit Manhas, economic development officer, who made $82,858.

For the complete list, please see www.nanaimo.ca.

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