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WS EXCLUSIVE: Leaked Auditor’s report says Edmonton’s management ranks have grown by 21% in 3 years

The auditor suggests chopping some middle managers as a way to help get the city’s budget on track.

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The Western Standard has obtained a leaked Auditors report from the City of Edmonton painting a picture of an administration with a huge and expanding list of managers and middle managers.

Contradicting the official line from the City, the auditor suggests chopping some middle managers as a way to help get the city’s budget on track.

A City Productivity and Performance report shows regular employee hiring by the city is trailing the number of managers currently on the payroll. The current number of city positions is 11,271, an increase of 6 per cent since 2017. At the same time, the report shows middle management increased by a whopping 21 per cent, and front-line supervisor positions increased by 19 per cent.

The Auditor’s report is scheduled for official release on Sept. 10.

“There has been a shift in the organization to supervising smaller groups of employees. This is the result of adding more supervisors,” the report said.

“We recommend Administration review supervisor responsibilities in the organization in order to reduce costs and layers of supervision.”

The report notes that since 2017, the workforce as a whole has increased by 232 full time positions. Budgeted personnel costs have increased by approximately $63 million due to staffing and wage increases.

The reports notes costs have increased because of: a shift to higher-cost positions, negotiated wage increases for unionized employees who comprise 86 per cent to 88 per cent of the workforce, and increases for employees who were not at the top of their salary range.

Overall, the workforce has grown by 2 per cent and the cost of the workforce has grown by 5.6 per cent.

“It is important for the organization to have the right amount of supervisors. When there are too few supervisors, it can be difficult to properly manage staff and workload. This can negatively impact the quality of work. When there are too many supervisors, this can unnecessarily raise overall personnel costs and create bureaucracy for decision-making,” the report said.

“The City has added supervisors at a higher rate than staff. While non-supervisory staff declined by 1 per cent between 2017 and 2020, supervisors increased by 21 per cent.”

“In 2017, the approximate cost of supervisors per organization FTE was $19,800. By 2020, this had increased to $23,200.”

Edmonton’s mayor Don Iveson has said that without help from the Alberta and federal governments, that the city would be forced to cut up to $2.8 billion in infrastructure spending.

“The City must reduce its costs in order to remain sustainable in the current economic environment,” the report says.

“Since 2017, the workforce has grown each year and supervisory FTE have grown disproportionately high compared to non-supervisory FTE. Reversing this growth by reducing supervisory FTE is an effective way to reduce costs for the organization.

“We recommend Administration review supervisor responsibilities in the organization in order to reduce costs and layers of supervision.”

The city’s seasonal workforce is not included in the data.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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UCP MLA calls Alberta CERB recipients lazy ‘Cheezie-eaters’

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The NDP is calling for an apology from Premier Jason Kenney after one of his MLAs called Albertans lazy “Cheezie-eating” people who used CERB money for drugs.

Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland MLA Shane Getson also called the federal emergency COVID-19 cash “funny money” at a recent townhall meeting.

He noted some companies are having trouble hiring workers because people make more on CERB and those Alberta recipients are “eating Cheezies watching cartoons.”

Getson said a friend in B.C. had noted drug abusers there had suddenly gone from earning $700 a month to $2,000 on CERB, a problem he has also noticed in Alberta.

“Now all of a sudden we have addiction problems going through the roof…then what, the funny money runs out.”

It’s unclear in the clip whether at the start Getson was referring to all Albertans or just those on drugs.

Getson video

“It is absolutely vile that a UCP MLA would make such a baseless and harmful statement about the hardworking people of Alberta who were forced to access emergency support during a global pandemic,” said Christina Gray, NDP Labour Critic. 

“People accessed these funds because their workplaces shut down or because they or their families were forced to isolate. The UCP defends their own use of emergency support for their debt ridden political party, while their MLA attacks struggling Albertans who needed support. Premier Kenney and Shane Getson owe all Albertans an apology for these thoughtless and hurtful comments.” 

Statistics Canada said 1,062,640 Albertans applied for the CERB.

“These comments are heartless and appalling,” said Heather Sweet, NDP Critic for Addictions and Mental Health. 

Notley tweet

“We learned just days ago about the tragic deaths of 301 Albertans to opioid overdoses. For an MLA to essentially joke about addictions at this time is beyond the pale. It speaks to the lack of compassion this government repeatedly shows when it comes to addressing mental health and addictions in this province Getson needs to immediately apologize for his ignorant and hurtful comments.”

Getson issued a statement later Tuesday.

Today, the NDP has politicized some remarks I made at a recent town hall by taking them out of context for political gain. The context was that a local business owner had raised concerns about not being able to hire workers despite being able to operate.

Clearly, the vast majority of recipients of government support truly need it. At the same time, some legitimate concerns have been raised about these programs that cannot be ignored. 

According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, CERB was the number one reason cited by small business owners for their inability to recall workers. And according to Ottawa Inner City Health, CERB is fueling overdoses in Canada’s capital city.

These are important issues that deserve our attention as they are happening everywhere. I recently spoke about these issues at a town hall in my community. Unsurprisingly, the NDP is now attacking me instead of focusing on how we keep our people safe.

It is important that we look at the evidence objectively. This will help protect our families and businesses in these difficult times.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Moe promises balanced budget in Saskatchewan in four years

“I believe in Saskatchewan. But Scott Moe’s old ideas aren’t working,” said NDP leader Ryan Meili

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Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe kicked off the province’s election campaign with a vow to balance the books by 2024.

The province ran a $2.4-billion deficit for the 2020-21, a figure largely blamed on falling oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moe, during a campaign kick-off in Regina, said his Saskatchewan Party has a “plan for a strong economic recovery with a balanced budget by 2024.”

He said Saskatchewan now, despite a “challenging economy”, has the lowest unemployment rate in the country and urged voters not to go back to the policies of the NDP.

“They closed hospitals, we are building hospitals,” said Moe, whose party is well ahead in the polls.

“This election is about ‘who do you trust.'”

NDP leader Ryan Meili was itching to get on the campaign trail.

“New Democrats are ready to run a great campaign against this government that is old and out of ideas. Let’s go!” he tweeted.

Ryan Meili
Courtesy Twitter

“I believe in Saskatchewan. But Scott Moe’s old ideas aren’t working. We need to invest in healthcare, in our kids’ schools, in getting people back on their feet. Let’s build a better future that puts people first.”

The election will be held Oct. 26, two days after the vote in B.C.

When the legislature was dissolved, Moe’s Saskatchewan Party held a 46-13 lead over the NDP.

Moe was sworn in as premier in 2018.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Report: Trudeau’s second carbon tax would devastate Canada

“It will sacrifice the Canadian standard of living that has made our country a desirable place to live for so long. Trudeau will make it even harder to live in Canada.”

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The second Liberal carbon tax will have a crushing effect on the Canadian economy, a new study shows.

The Clean Fuel Standard will increase the cost of home heating by 60 per cent, drive up the price of gas another 13 cents a litre, cost 30,000 jobs, put at risk $22 billion in foreign capital in Canada and cost every worker an additional $440 yearly, says the group Canadian for Affordable Energy.

Their report claims “the additional emission regulation undermines the efficiency of any existing carbon tax in reducing GHG emissions; that despite its cost the CFS will accomplish very little – especially in a growing economy; and that, depending on compliance options, the CFS may end up creating environmental challenges, not opportunities.

Study of second carbon tax on Alberta

“The problems of the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) are truly represented in its name, which misleadingly suggests that the policy will deliver clean air. But Canada already has remarkably high clean air standards which are rarely violated,” said the report, written by former Liberal MP Dan McTeague.

“If the (Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau government is to pursue the lofty goal of zero emissions above all else, it will sacrifice the Canadian standard of living that has made our country a desirable place to live for so long. Trudeau will make it even harder to live in Canada.”

Study of second carbon tax on B.C.

The second carbon tax is part of Canada’s plan within the Paris Accord to reduce emissions 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

The Liberals have been planning the CFS since they came to power but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed their plans until now.

Federal environment minister Jonathan Wilkinson said the CFS will diversify the economy and promote investment in clean solutions.

“It will create opportunities for farmers and companies producing renewable fuels, will encourage investments in energy efficiency to help Canadians save money and will promote faster development of zero emissions vehicles,” he said in a statement.

“The cost implications for households and industry are unclear but a study by the Canadian Energy Research Institute in May 2019 estimated the impact of a 20 per cent reduction in carbon intensity. CERI suggested a total fuel decarbonisation cost of $15.3 billion a year, adding $84 or four per cent to household fuel bills; $62 or 2.8 per cent to the cost of gas; and 13 per cent to fuel costs for industry.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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