Monday, June 18, 2012

Nanaimo City Hall Wages & Benefits

Depending On Which Document You Read
You Can Come To A Different Conclusion
Real Total Cost Is Actually $54,400,000.00

A day or so ago I drew attention to the completely erroneous report in the local daily as to the cost of all city staff which was reported to be a mere $28.2 million.

In the interest of bringing readers of Nanaimo Info Blog accurate information I did some double checking on different city hall documents available in various reports on the city website. I have to say the information available on different reports do not make it exactly crystal clear as to what the real number is.


All of the following numbers 'appear' to be the total cost of wages and salaries at city hall and depending on which number you source you could come away with four different numbers, only one of course is the correct number.

$28.2 Million --- reported on the front page of the local Daily...... totally wrong!

$39.1 Million --- the number presented on the 'Provisional Budget Fact Sheet on the city website.

$44.9 Million --- the number presented on the SOFI reports

$54.4 Million --- the number presented in the Audited Financial Statements

If you were to consider the source you would be forgiven for thinking the number you read is in fact the total cost of city staff wages and benefits. You might not be surprised to know that the correct number is actually $54.4 million as reported in the Financial Statements.

I asked the Director of Finance for the city for the right number and follows is his reply:

1.      The $28.1 million reported by the Nanaimo Daily News.  First of all, this number has been reported incorrectly. The Statement of Financial Information (SOFI) indicates on page 11 that the total paid to employees in 2011 as remuneration is $44.9 million. The SOFI is prepared on a cash basis and includes amounts paid to employees during the calendar year as salaries and wages, as well as taxable benefits. The kind of costs that must be included in this schedule is specified by the Financial Information Regulation.
2.      The $39.1 on the Provisional Budget Fact Sheet is for permanent salaries only.  It does not include benefits or temporary or casual staff. It is intended to give Council an idea of the relative size and cost of the three payroll groups (excluded, CUPE & IAFF) and ties into the FTE numbers on the same document.
3.      The $54.4 million reported in the City of Nanaimo financial statements includes all wages, salaries and benefits. It is recorded on an accrual basis, i.e. all amounts earned during the year, as opposed to the amount actually paid. The ‘cash versus accrual’ methods will result in some differences between this number and the SOFI amount, but the main difference is that the amount included in the financial statements includes all benefits (including employer paid pension contributions), whereas the SOFI includes only taxable benefits.


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