Dominique O’Rourke
I see the $100,000 compensation increase for payroll system optimization project accounts for a portion of the 6.4% increase in wages, salaries and benefits in this area over 2019  but what is driving the 21.5% increase over 2018 actuals? 

The salary, wages and benefit budget in the Human Resources (HR) department increased from 2018 actual to 2019 Council approved budget by $390,000 and from 2019 to 2020 proposed budget by $200,000.  Staff caution that actual salaries are subject to vacancy impacts which can vary year to year while departments budget to staff compliment that is required and approved.

The 2019 salary, wage and benefit budget accounts for compensation increases to assist in implementing internal audit recommendations, the expiration of an external professional contract and the internal transfer of existing resources from other departments to better align service delivery of the payroll and HR advisory to the corporation. For 2020, $100,000 of the proposed budget increase is for one-time funding from reserve to achieve resource support for our optimization of the payroll system. Both the 2019 and 2020 budgets reflect inflationary costs in compensation and the associated benefit contributions. 2020 budget does not include any new permanent full time employees.

To accommodate the salary, wage and benefit increases and achieve base budget targets, the HR budget realized efficiencies in other areas of their budget, such as reductions in purchased goods and consulting.