A quarter of City of Red Deer staff and managers earn $100,000 or more a year, according to data released from human resources.
An equal number of full-time city staffers — also 25 per cent — get paid between $75,000 and $100,000, as do less than one per cent of part timers.
The largest percentage of city employees — 39 per cent of full-time workers and four per cent of part timers — get compensated between $50,000 and $75,000 a year.
The Advocate asked the city’s human resources department to quantify information that’s publicly available on the City of Red Deer’s website.
Instead of the broad salary ranges that are listed for various city jobs at www.reddeer.ca, the human resources department was asked to take into account what city employees are actually earning — and then to break it down according to percentages.
The data provided by acting human resources manager Tracy Bruce shows that one per cent of city staff — including recently hired city manager Allan Seabrooke, whose reduced salary was revealed to be $235,000 with benefits earlier this year — make more than $150,000 annually.
About five per cent of full-time staff make between $125,000 and $150,000 a year and 18 per cent get between $100,000 and $125,000 annually. Bruce said these would be some managers and professionals such as engineers and planners.
At the other end of the salary spectrum, less than one per cent of full timers and seven per cent of part timers earn less than $50,000 a year.
Bruce factored this data based on 1,441 full- and part-time city workers. She did not include casual workers, who are called in to work whenever they’re needed.
With these workers added, the city’s employee ranks would grow to 1,690 people. She said these numbers have remained fairly steady over the past few years.
Bruce noted that tight operating budgets have resulted in minimal raises for unionized workers — in the range of one to two per cent — and a wage freeze since 2018 for managers and professionals who do not have collective agreements.
Last year, this latter group received a one per cent pay increase, she added, reflecting harder fiscal times.
While there’s no outright salary freeze at the city, she said there’s a “soft freeze,” since any new position must first go through a review by department managers, as well as be assessed by city council if it would require a budget increase.
Bruce said the City of Red Deer is aware of the economic climate, but at the same time, must pay professionals enough to retain them and not have them lured away by higher wages elsewhere.
Ad-hoc salary reviews are often done to compare “apples to apples” with other municipalities, she said.
The City of Calgary recently released data that shows nearly 30 per cent of its employees make more than $100,000 a year.
About 22 per cent earn between $100,000 and $125,000 annually, while nearly six per cent are in the $125,000 to $150,000 range, and 1.5 per cent make more than $150,000 a year.
Bruce said there are cost of living differences and different departmental structures between the two cities, but she believes this comparison indicates “we aren’t out of sync.”