In 7-1 vote, Sackville councillors approve pay hike for town managers

It appears Sackville managers will be getting substantial raises this year to bring their salaries more in line with unionized workers on the town’s payroll.

At their meeting last night, a majority of councillors approved a one-time “catch up” over and above the eight per cent increase won recently by the town’s unionized employees. That increase will be applied in stages over six years.

Councillor Bill Evans said the one-time pay raise for managers is justified because 20 per cent of Sackville’s unionized employees make more than 40 per cent of its management staff.

“It has become a bit of a challenge hiring people,” Evans said, “and some of our more recent management hires have actually taken pay cuts in order to come and work for the town.”

Councillor Bruce Phinney cast the only opposing vote, but did not say why.

Details to come later

It’s not yet known what the pay raises will amount to because councillors discussed them behind closed doors before last night’s public meeting.

However, New Brunswick requires municipalities to release employee pay scales when anyone asks for them and Councillor Evans said they would be available soon.

After the one-time “catch up” Evans said, town managers will get the same raises as unionized workers with back pay retroactive to December 31, 2015 when the union contract expired.

Those raises are part of a new, six-year collective agreement that provides a one per cent increase in each of the first three years followed by two years of one-point-five per cent increases and a two per cent raise in 2021, the final year of the agreement.

Evans noted that Chief Administrative Officer Phil Handrahan is in a separate category from other managers. His pay is set separately after a yearly performance evaluation.

To view the previous management pay scales, click here.

To read my previous report on management pay, click here.

Councillors pleased with performance

During last night’s meeting, councillors discussed a report from management staff on the $6.7 million in grants from various sources that the town has received during the past two years.

Councillors Bill Evans, Megan Mitton and Andrew Black congratulated and thanked the staff for writing so many successful grant applications.

“It would be hard to imagine what our town would be like if it wasn’t for some of the grants and the funding that we get,” Black said.

To view the complete list of grants, click here.

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5 Responses to In 7-1 vote, Sackville councillors approve pay hike for town managers

  1. Sharon Hicks says:

    excellent factual reporting … clear, concise, to the point. 🙂

  2. The adoration of grant writing tells me its clear the agenda of this town is not what the will of the people want but the ‘strings attached’ money they are funnelling in to socially engineer us.

  3. Rima Azar says:

    These salaries are much higher compared to salaries for other jobs in our town.

  4. Demian Hammock says:

    It is not alway about money. It is about management style and metrics!

    The question is not what you are paying your management but what your management is costing your company/organization!

    Management and unionized staff salaries at the Town of Sackville are just fine for the most part. Money is important but is not the main factor with job dissatisfaction and bad performance in a company/organization but it is the management style!

    Also, public sector workers paid 10.6% more than private sector average: Fraser Institute. This would include management for the Town of Sackville, NB they also work for the public sector as well.

    Also, important to note that it is very different looking at company/organization as a third party.

    So as the old saying goes ‘take it with a grain of salt’ in what I am saying.

    Though sometimes suggestions from outside perspective can be good. It is possible sometimes maybe your company/organization has overlooked solutions because of complacency.

    Managers and employee engagement/productivity and turnover rates. These metrics matter a lot!

    Most people do not leave their job because of money but usually because of bad management meaning their boss. There is an old saying ‘People leave managers, not companies/organizations’.

    How to Spot a Bad Manager.

    Performance: 360 Degree: that includes Manager Effectiveness Evaluation

    Example – In keeping with [Company Name/Organization ]’s goal to continuously improve, we are asking for your candid feedback on the performance of your manager this past year.

    This should include all management Dept Heads including the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).

    This information would be invaluable information for Town Council, for example, as the CAO works for the WILL of Council.

    People on Town Council don’t get paid a lot of money they do it for public service. Most of them have another regular job to pay the bills. So they count on CAO and Dept Heads for day to day engagement with employees.

    One also has to take into account that Town Council has way more contact with the CAO and Dept Heads on a regular basis than people who work as staff members for the Town.

    So that creates a bias right there. As a result much harder to criticize or fire someone you have regular contact with.
    This happens a lot with many organizations. It is what is it is.

    So this type of evaluation Performance: 360 Degree: Manager Effectiveness Evaluation would give Council a much clearer idea of what is going on with their employees and how effective their CAO and Dept Heads really are with Town staff. Concerning matters like employee engagement/productivity and turnover rates.

    Also a Performance: 360 Degree: Manager Effectiveness Evaluation would be helpful in breaking down any type of bias that a Town Councilor might have about how they feel personally about a CAO/manager good or bad.

    The Town of Sackville does not have HR Manager.
    At the moment I believe it done by CAO. So this type of evaluation would have to be done by a third party which could advise Town Council.

    How to reduce your turnover rate? All companies/organizations should implement something called Stay Interview!

    A Stay Interview is preferable to an exit interview because, in a Stay Interview, you ask current employees why they continue to work for your organization. At the exit interview, it’s too late to identify and solve the problems or help your existing employees accomplish the goals he or she is leaving.

    Does the Town of Sackville have Stay Interviews/Exit Interviews and 360 Degree Review: that includes Manager Effectiveness Evaluation? If not why not?

    If you implement a Stay Interviews/Exit Interviews and 360 Degree Review: that includes Manager Effectiveness Evaluation.
    It helps tosses out bad management helps get rid of bad employees and helps increase productivity and results in far less of a turnover rate.

    High-cost turnover of employees.

    Usually, it takes about six to nine months of an employee’s salary in order to find and train their replacement based on most research that has been on this subject matter.

    Salary costs. The cost of training and On-Boarding.
    For example, a salary of $60,000 a year will cost the company/organization anywhere from $30,000 to $45,000 to hire and train a replacement.

    Other Expenses.

    Interview Expenses
    Advertising Costs

    Can result in Lowered Engagement.
    Other employees can get distressed when they see good people and friends leaving their companies/organization. High turnover rates will be noticed by staff who remain employed by a company/organization it can result in lost engagement on part of these employees.

    Productivity of New Hires

    When a company/organization is faced with the need to hire new employees, they also face a severe decrease in productivity. Expert Josh Bersin, of Bersin by Deloitte, a new employee can take up to two full years to reach the same level of productivity as an existing staff member

    According to Forbes, employees expecting a raise can expect to see an average of 3 percent, though if recruiting a new employee for the same position it might mean a 10-20 percent raise to replace that position.

    So management and how it relates to employees engagement/productivity and turnover rates matter a lot to the success of any company/organization.

    One always wants to look at the metrics as much as possible as metrics tend not to lie. For example, has the turnover gone up if so why?

    To me, a true reflection of person’s worth as a good manager is not how they treat their superiors but how they treat others that work under them.

    If a manager can’t build a relationship of trust and respect of those that work under them it will always be bad for the bottom line. Turnover rates etc…

    The problem with our society today which I call “The Trump Factor” in HR when selecting a manager for a position within a company/organization is that confidence matters more competence! A lot of bad management hires have resulted because of the preset bias that we have for what makes a good leader/manager. Confidence over competence.

    In HR always ‘Trust but Verify’. I am not saying that you are lying about having a degree from Harvard University but I will be verifying that. This actually gets a lot of bad candidates to self-select out for a position.

    Important when dealing Subject Matter Expert(SME) people on your staff/management and CAO who have degrees and expertise in their field. Sometimes they might tell you things you don’t like but they have to for legal reasons or code conduct within their field for example. That does not make them a bad employee or bad manager or a bad CAO.

    This being said that does not excuse managers or a CAO etc… behaviors for things like verbal abuse/bullying which these days are being taken a lot more seriously in the courts.

    Don’t forget it is your front line staff that makes your company/organization great. All too often they get lost in the mix.

    It could be something simple as “Councillors Bill Evans, Megan Mitton, and Andrew Black congratulated and thanked the staff for writing so many successful grant applications.” as indicated in the article. These types of accolades do matter a lot !

    Sincerely, Demian Hammock
    Diploma of Advanced Studies Human Resources Management.

  5. Rima Azar says:

    Dear Demian:

    Excellent insights! Thank you for sharing!

    I like the idea of Stay in Interview as well as all your other ideas.

    I particularly enjoyed reading your following thoughts: “To me, a true reflection of person’s worth as a good manager is not how they treat their superiors but how they treat others that work under them”. I totally agree with you… Those under them, their juniors, their trainees, and/or whom they perceive as being more vulnerable for whatever reason (ex. contractual employees in a workplace versus tenured ones, etc.).

    By extension, I would like to add to the list above people who are not paid at all by the organization. I mean volunteers (providing public service). Not honouring these folks tells you something about a management style, to use your own words. It also speaks volume about toxic personalities in an organization. Labeling volunteers as committers of misconduct when they testify in court about a misbehaviour is morally wrong. This is especially true when these volunteers are professionals who may be perhaps building a reputation that would serve in positioning themselves somewhere (whether they are engineers or lawyers… or both in the case of Mr. Louis Béliveau). Such a behaviour is not only disrespectful to the volunteer in question but also more seriously to the Respectable Judge Dionne (from Queen Bench Court) who asked the Town of Sackville during the first hearing to refrain from this behaviour as it undermines Mr. Béliveau’s reputation, especially if he is looking for a job here.

    Please forgive me Demian for the long extension. I just could not help keeping my mouth shut. Like you, respect is a dear value to me.

    Thanks again,

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