Klaus Kuhn, the CVRD’s director for Youbou/Meade Creek, questioned why more than half of the district’s employees are getting paid more than $75,000 at a recent board meeting. (File photo)

Klaus Kuhn, the CVRD’s director for Youbou/Meade Creek, questioned why more than half of the district’s employees are getting paid more than $75,000 at a recent board meeting. (File photo)

Director questions staff salaries at Cowichan Valley Regional District

More than 100 made in excessive of $75,000 in 2021

Employee salaries in the Cowichan Valley Regional District were a point of contention for Klaus Kuhn, director for Youbou/Meade Creek, at the board meeting on June. 20.

After reading through the CVRD’s statement of financial information for 2021, Kuhn pointed out that of the 207 staff members in the district, more than 100 of them made more than $75,000 last year.

“That means more than 50 per cent of our staff made more than $75,000 in 2021,” he said.

“I find that is quite incredible. I hear so much that we’re not paying enough, so this makes me wonder.”

RELATED STORY: MORE THAN 65 STAFF MEMBERS IN COWICHAN GOVERNMENTS MAKE IN EXCESS OF $100,000

Barbra Mohan, the CVRD’s manager of human resources, said the report on staff salaries in the SOFI document for 2021 not only reflects the employees’ salaries, but also the number of taxable benefits that each employee receives.

“For instance, it could reflect things like overtime,” she said.

“Last year, many of our employees were unable to take their vacations because we were understaffed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, as a result, they may have taken a significant portion of their vacations as a pay out instead of taking vacation time. So there are other elements of salary and benefits that are reported other than just salary.”

Mohan added that positions in the CVRD, like other organizations, are reviewed and reclassified on an ongoing basis.

She said the CVRD looks at each position’s slate of job responsibilities and a comparative analysis is done based on the rates of pay within the district, and also with comparable organizations.

“When we do that exercise and we find that someone may have been underpaid for a period of time since they submitted their review, they are eligible for a retroactive payment,” Mohan said.

“That can represent one-time bumps to the figure reported in the statement of financial information.”

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN COUNCIL MEMBERS WON’T GET BIG PAY HIKE

According to the SOFI for 2021, CAO Brian Carruthers was the highest pay employee in the CVRD, with his compensation listed as $232,000.

John Elzinga, the district’s general manager of community services, came in second with a salary of $170,000, and H. Hatami, the general manager of engineering services, took third place with $164,000.

The highest paid member of the board last year was Aaron Stone, the mayor of Ladysmith, who served as chair until December, 2021, with a salary of $46,000 from the district.

The average pay for directors in the CVRD that represent electoral areas ranged between $34,000 to $39,000 in 2021, while directors appointed from among council members from local municipalities on the board make on average a little more than half as much.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Salaries