A raise for non-union Township employees

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Clearview Council adopted a new salary structure for its non-union employees Monday night, adjusting its overall market pay position up 13 percentage points to the 50th percentile when looking at a comparator group of municipalities.

The move comes after a compensation market review conducted by the consulting firm Gazda, Houlne & Associates and several in camera meetings between Council, CAO Sue McKenzie and Human Resources Manager Pavlina Thompson to discuss the results of the study.

Contrary to the opinion of some members of the public during last spring’s budget consultation, the consultants’ analysis showed that Clearview has four full-time employees per 1,000 population as compared to 4.5 employees as the average of the comparator group – according to the report, meaning that the Township is delivering services similar to the other municipalities with 11 per cent less full-time staff. The analysis also showed that in 2011, Clearview was staffed 10 per cent lower than the comparator municipalities in terms of its management team.

In terms of pay, the report showed that the Township’s overall pay position was at the 37th percentile, with nearly half of its full-time non-union positions below the 45th percentile.

The new pay structure passed Monday night will adjust pay rates to the 50th percentile and provide a more evenly stepped grid structure. The Township will now have 15 pay grades, with the lowest base salary starting at $32,279 and increasing by five steps of five per cent each to a maximum of $39,221 and the highest starting at $108,835 and increasing by five steps of five per cent each to a maximum of $132,241.

The annual cost of the increased salary structure works out to $69,905.80, plus 30 per cent for benefits equaling a total of $90,877.54. However, recent staffing changes have resulted in 2012 savings of almost $40,000, and further efficiencies are in the planning stages for 2013 and beyond. According to Thompson, the savings as a result of those efficiencies are expected to more than offset the increased annual payroll expenses.

The resolution to institute the new salary grid was moved Monday night by Councillor Brent Preston, who spoke on behalf of Council before the vote.

“We’ve been working on this for a long time in camera,” said Preston. “When I first arrived on Council, there were a lot of questions that couldn’t be answered about how much value we were getting for the money we were spending. This is the first public indication of the progress we’ve made, and I’m really happy with the results.”

Preston emphasized three points in his comments – that the Township has found and continues to find efficiencies, that it can now say that it is paying fairly for good service, and that the next step is to develop a performance management plan that sets out a framework for pay increases and promotions based on performance.

With that, the motion was passed unanimously by Council.

Duntroon Quarry Resolution

With about 30 employees of Walker Aggregates’ Duntroon Quarry looking on, Clearview Council passed a motion Monday night reiterating its support for the quarry’s proposed expansion, in the face of the Niagara Escarpment Commission’s recent decision to request a judicial review of the Consolidated Hearing Board’s decision to approve the project.

Monday night’s motion came after a deputation from Walker employee Mike Saunders, who noted that many of the quarry employees will face layoffs if the judicial review extends into next year.

The motion based its support on “the fairness of the Consolidated Hearing Process,” and noted that the expansion will “provide important revenues to the Township of Clearview, promote the local economy while contributing generously to the benefit of all the community, all the while proposing state of the art protection of the environment.”

Councillor Brent Preston provided the sole vote against the motion, noting that while he agreed that it’s time to move on on the quarry file, he felt he had to stay true to his opposition to the project, voiced during his campaign. Councillor Thom Paterson was absent from Monday’s meeting.

Council’s motion will be forwarded to Simcoe County, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Attorney General and the other Niagara Escarpment Commission member municipalities.

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