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CRD senior managers pocket four per cent raises

Jul 21 2012

While Capital Regional District unionized workers settled for a two per cent salary increase this year, several of their senior managers will pocket about double that.

CRD exempt staff receive annual cost of living adjustments based on a formula that ties executive compensation to an average of increases given to senior executives at Saanich and Victoria.

Based on that formula, all senior staff received increases of slightly more than two per cent for 2011.

But the CRD board also has a philosophy that ties executive compensation to the median compensation paid to municipal officials within the region, said Chris Neilson, CRD senior manager of human resources.

A 2010 Comparison found that the CRD's compensation was about 1.8 per cent lower than the market, Neilson said.

As a result, roughly one-third of the 68 CRD exempt staff were given raises of about 1.8 per cent

- on top of the 2.0 per cent cost of living adjustment - retroactive to July 1, 2011. The increases were approved by the CRD board earlier this year.

Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt, a CRD director, didn't support the increase.

"I can't disclose information received in camera, but I think in general terms the CRD needs to exercise restraint in senior staff compensation," Isitt said.

He said the CRD executive compensation structure "is more horizontal" than other local governments such as the City of Victoria, where there are more people at the upper end at the wage scale.

"I think, generally, there has been more modest salaries awarded to management staff, but I think at the upper end we could look at realizing some savings," he said.

The CRD executive structure is headed by the chief administrative officer, followed by general managers, division managers and some section managers.

The combined cost of living increase and wage adjustment meant CAO Kelly Daniels will receive an additional $14,000 on top of his annual compensation, which was reported as $211,186 in 2011.

The salaries of the CRD's five general managers each went up an average of $11,000. Before the raise, the compensation packages were: Jack Hull (integrated water services), $182,304; Lloyd Rushton (parks), $150,837; Larisa Hutcheson (environmental sustainability), $149,850; Diana Lokken (corporate services), $158,673; and Bob Lapham (planning and protective services), $158,788.

The increases will add an average of $6,250 to 25 division managers pay packets and $3,000 for about 30 section managers.

The CRD employs 144 people who make more than $75,000, for a total of $16.14 million.

The remaining 905 employees make a total of $22.5 million, bringing the total CRD payroll to $38.6 million.

bcleverley@timescolonist.com

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