Failed bid for overtime audit a 'witch hunt', mayor says
Council votes down Ald. Colley-Urquhart's motion to identify managers who got extra pay during flood
There was a heated discussion at Monday night's city council meeting in the wake of news that senior directors received hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime pay during the flood.
Council heard that the bill came to more than $300,000 for 28 people.
The mayor said he doesn’t like the current policy, which states that the senior managers were entitled to the overtime pay under the circumstances.
“They’re very well compensated professionals. These are people who make more than the aldermen, some of them make more than the mayor,” he said.
“And in my mind, it’s part of being a professional. You know, certainly none of my staff got overtime, certainly no politician did for the hours that we put in.”
But Nenshi said Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart’s motion to order an audit of the overtime payments — and to identify the managers who billed for those hours — was inappropriate.
It was defeated 13 votes to two.
“To go on a witch hunt, and go backwards in time to try and figure out exactly who asked for it and who got it, and who didn’t ask for it, and try and figure some sort of quantum of who’s noble and who isn’t noble … I don’t think is very helpful,” Nenshi said.
Ald. Gord Lowe was among those voted against the motion.
“For me it was embarrassing. It was unnecessary. It was unworthy. It was uncalled for. That's about the kindest things I can say about it.”
Union and non-union staff received $21 million in overtime pay, council heard.
That will likely be covered by the province's disaster program.