Halifax releases names of city employees earning $100,000 a year or more
For the first time ever, Halifax Regional Municipality has released the names of everyone on the city payroll that make $100,000 a year or more.
The compensation disclosure, released Tuesday, shows more than 600 city employees earned a six-figure salary during the past fiscal year.
The wage takes into account their salary, as well as overtime payand "other benefits," which the city describes as retirement payments, vacation payouts, vehicle expenses, living accommodations, and payments for members in recreational clubs or organizations.
The top earners at city hall include: former chief administrative officer Richard Butts, who resigned in December, pulled in the top salary at $346,336.71. The Deputy CAO, Michael Labrecque earned $228,395.83. Halifax Water's general administrator Carl Yates pulled in $237,567.51. Municipal Auditor General Larry Munroe earned almost $213,965.47. Meanwhile, Mayor Mike Savage earned $175,697.20 in the past fiscal year.
As for police and fire, Halifax Regional Police Chief Jean-Michel Blais earns $205,003.03, while Fire Chief Doug Trussler earned $206,006.11.
Most employees on the "sunshine" list are part of the fire or police department. Two hundred and ninety five police officers earn six figures, 197 of which are constables. Meanwhile, 213 employees in the fire department earned more than $100,000.
In November, Halifax Regional Council passed an administrative order to release the names of those city employees who make over $100,000.
That is something the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is applauding.
“City council and the city deserves a lot of credit for making this public,” says Atlantic Canada director Kevin Lacey. “This sheds new light on how taxpayers’ money is being spent so taxpayers can judge for themselves whether they’re getting good value or not.”
However, Lacey does have some concerns.
"I think average working taxpayers in the city should be really concerned with what they're seeing in here,” says Lacey. “You know, almost one in five employees are making over $100,000 and when you compare some of these in the private sector, these salaries are far and above what is earned outside of government and it's the taxpayers footing the bill."
Lacey is also concerned about the other benefits which range from a few hundred dollars to $60,000. It should be noted, some employees didn't file any claims for other benefits.
“Going forward, this is invaluable information for us to know if this list is growing, or whether or not the city is properly managing the money it spends, just to manage its own government,” adds Lacey.
Halifax Regional Police aren't commenting since the city released the list. HRM Mayor Mike Savage wasn't available for comment.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Amanda Debison.