More than 930 employees of the Halifax Regional Municipality earned over $100,000 this past fiscal year, analysis of the municipality’s compensation disclosure list by Global News indicates.
It’s a marked increase from the year before, when only 568 municipal employees made the “sunshine list,” which details what the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) paid to any person who earned $100,000 or more in a single fiscal year.
In total, the list details the more than $112 million paid out to 933 employees between April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018.
The figures include salary and any benefits that the employee used.
Halifax Regional Police (HRP) and Halifax Fire and Emergency Services make up the majority (84 per cent) of the list.
HRP had 444 officers listed in this year’s report, a jump from 231 last year.
Fire and Emergency saw a similar increase, with 338 firefighters appearing on the list this year, up from 207 last year.
The municipality says that the increase is a result of the new collective agreements that were reached with both the fire and police services — employees of both services saw a retroactive pay increase.
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Top earners out the door
The highest earning employee was Amanda Whitewood, the municipality’s now-former director of finance and asset management, who earned $279,201.
Whitewood has since left the municipality to take a position as Chief Financial Officer at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax.
She’s not the only top earner who has left, or is in the process of leaving, a position in the municipality.
Robert Bjerke, who served as the municipality’s director of planning and development, made $214,255. He was ousted from his position in August 2017.
Bruce Zvaniga, director of transportation and public works, recently announced his decision to leave his post. He earned $210,864 this past fiscal year.
Halifax Regional Police Chief Jean-Michel Blais is set to retire in March 2019. He earned $209,980 according to the disclosure list.
Whitewood, Bjerke, Zvaniga and Blais were in the top 10 of the highest earning employees in the municipality.
A spokesperson for the municipality would not discuss whether the high-salaries impacted their employment status with the HRM.
“We can’t disclose the specifics of any employee’s compensation beyond what is contained in the Statement of Compensation report,” Nick Ritcey said.
According to the compensation list, Mayor Mike Savage earned $176,879 this past fiscal year.