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Kelowna city payroll increases by $2.3 million

The $75,000-plus a year club at city hall increased by 30  in 2011, Kelowna council learned Monday.

Those higher wages helped contribute to an overall $2.3 million bump in city wage payouts from the previous year, bringing the 2011 total to $58.4 million.

Although it may seem like a hefty increase,  director of financial services Keith Grayston  explained it was a matter of necessity as a number of union employees benefitted from contract increases for 2010 that were paid in 2011. Numbers were also buoyed by paid-out overtime.

That said, some councillors had questions about whether city staff wages were on the right path.

"I know everybody works hard, and I have a lot of respect for everybody, but I have heard, especially to during the campaign, that our staff is highly paid," said Coun. Mohini Singh.

Grayston assured Singh that wages are not out of line.

"We have a program where a consultant works to see where our salaries are compared to similarly sized communities," he said.

"We're not the lowest , we're not the highest, we're at the 75th percentile for our salary range. It does fit in with other municipalities our size."

 

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