Joe Sawchuk, a retired controller in the hospitality industry, is running for a seat at the City of Duncan’s council table in the upcoming municipal elections.
He said he has observed that change is required on Duncan’s city council.
“Year after year, all we see is the same old, same old, of increasing taxes to balance the budget and all City of Duncan employees receiving wage increases,” Sawchuk said.
“It’s time to balance the budget with zero per cent tax increases and getting a handle on the City of Duncan’s payroll costs that are totally out of control.”
Sawchuk said the total wages and benefits paid out by the city in 2018 was $3,107,214, with 28 per cent of the total paid to city council members and city management.
He said the total wages and benefits paid out in 2021 was $4,012,985, with 47 per cent of the total paid to city council members and management; an increase of $905,771, or 29 per cent.
“The chief administration officer in the City of Duncan was paid a yearly salary of $131,387 in 2015, and $140,875 in 2021,” Sawchuk said.
“Employees being paid these kind of wages do not need wage increases. The wage must be frozen.”
Sawchuk said a public works employee employed as a laborer in the city is paid a hourly rate of $29.51 per hour, effective as of Jan. 1, 2022.
He said that works out to $58,431 gross pay per year, and this rate will increase two per cent more per year in 2023 and 2024, and that by 2024, the gross pay for these workers will be $60,875.
Sawchuk said this does not include employee benefits that have to be paid by the employer.
“I am not running as a candidate for city council for a paycheque,” he said.
“I am running to be the voice of reason for the City of Duncan’s taxpayers. My promise is that if the topic of wage increases arises for council members, I will always vote no on the topic.”