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Banff to ante up $100K in wage adjustments

BANFF – Wages for Town of Banff employees lag behind other comparable municipalities, but are above other local publicly funded or private business organizations, according to an independent compensation review.
Banff from Norquay
Rocky Mountain Outlook

BANFF – Wages for Town of Banff employees lag behind other comparable municipalities, but are above other local publicly funded or private business organizations, according to an independent compensation review.

Town officials say Banff’s rate for each job grade targets the 50th percentile, meaning 50 per cent of comparable organizations pay more and 50 per cent pay less than the municipality’s median rate.

“The Town leads comparable local employers in both wages and benefits ­– as a percent of wages – and lags comparable municipal employers in wages and benefits,” said Barbara King, director of human resources for the Town of Banff.

The compensation study – by Goodman McDougall & Associates, Ltd and Horovatin Consulting, Ltd. – found that Banff’s municipal employees average at 98.16 per cent of the job rate.

It’s going to cost about $100,000 to make adjustments in seven of the 19 job grades, which administration will try to accommodate within the inflationary budget cap noted on the 2019 financial plan.

“This cost brings employees who are below 100 per cent back to their current percent of job rate,” said King.

Mayor Karen Sorensen said she’s proud of the wages and benefits package offered to employees, noting they are “our biggest asset."

“It’s also good news that we may be able to find the $100,000 within budget,” she said.

The consultant looked at compensation for comparable organizations in Banff, including Banff Centre, Banff/Lake Louise Tourism, Banff Lodging Co., Fairmont Banff Springs and Parks Canada.

On the municipal front, Canmore, Chestermere, Cochrane, High River, Okotoks, Rocky View, Sylvan Lake and wage surveys from MD of Bighorn and MD of Foothills were considered in the review.

Wages and benefits represent approximately 40 per cent of the Town’s annual operating budget. For this year, that amounts to $15.9 million.

Through its financial plan, council directs an annual adjustment to the job grade structure, based on a market calculation of Statistic Canada’s data monthly tracking of average weekly earnings and Alberta’s Consumer Price Index.