Sixteen management staff at the Town of Sidney have had their wages frozen for two years in a moratorium enacted by mayor and council.
At council’s Sept. 23 meeting, approval was given to stop the practice of matching management salary increases to negotiated terms with unionized workers. The moratorium covers 2014 and 2015.
Chief Administrative Officer Randy Humble said the affected staff were aware the freeze was coming, so it wasn’t a surprise. He said council’s action was not brought about by any financial issues within the municipality but more of a realization the Town needed to recognize local economic realities.
“I think council is saying the Town is not in isolation from the current economic impacts on business and residents,” he said.
Since 2008, when the national and provincial economies took a turn for the worse, concerns have persisted about when fortunes might recover.
Humble added there was a significant salary review for management staff in 2007, during which wages were increased to keep pace, and be competitive with, similar positions within other Capital Regional District municipalities.
In a media release, Mayor Larry Cross said council believes the wages for their management staff are competitive in comparison with the region.
“However we must also appreciate the realities and financial pressures that currently face many of our citizens and businesses,” he stated. “There is a realization amongst council that the economy is still very much in recovery mode and, consequently, it is incumbent upon us to provide a level of responsibility and leadership in this tenuous economic climate.”
The Town of Sidney is scheduled to enter into new contract negotiations with the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 374 at the end of the year.
— with files from the Town of Sidney