• Carmen Marie Fabio

St. Lazare responds to leaked document over managers’ salaries


St. Lazare Mayor Robert Grimaudo said it’s reprehensible that the employees’ names were divulged on social media (not included here) and that the position’s respective remuneration would have been granted through an access to information request.

St. Lazare Mayor Robert Grimaudo said he’s “absolutely disgusted” following news that a working document disclosing the salaries of town employees, including overtime, between 2013 and 2015 had been leaked from a councillor and is making the rounds on social media.

“I am completely appalled that, for political reasons, one of the elected officials that is in the running now, has given this document to (resident) Richard Meades to post on Facebook,” Grimaudo told Your Local Journal. “Trump-style politics has no place in this administration.”

The social media post includes 18 of the employees’ names and cumulative salaries, and Grimaudo said the salary information on each position – without the names – would have been granted through an access to information had the request been made. “It’s pathetic to have posted the employee’s names on Facebook,” he said.

The document in question is confidential and was produced two years ago when the town was in the process of spearheading a number of different dossiers, including the inaugural Au Galop equestrian festival, the acquisition of the Base de plein Air, Dune Lake, the new fire station and town hall, and the landslide file. It was provided to all six councillors.

“There was a lot of overtime going on and, as a council, we were also a little concerned so we asked for this document.”

Posted on an area community Facebook group by resident Meades, the feedback elicited comments that were both supportive and incredulous of the salaries.

In a communiqué released by Town of St. Lazare Communications Director Geneviève Hamel, the amounts are clarified as follows. “The information you see is each manager’s 2015 annual salary. The other columns are the 2013, 2014, 2015 combined hours of overtime worked during the year plus vacation hours managers did not have a chance to take plus sick days not used during each respective year.”

Directors’ pay scales are determined by collective agreement and Grimaudo said they’re on par, if not lower, than other towns with a comparable population size of about 20,000.

“Salaries are not only set according to an employee’s education degrees, but level of skills and responsibilities as well as his/her number of years of experience,” read the communiqué. It further points out that in the last three decades, the town has substantially grown, going from 3000 inhabitants to 20,000. “It is not uncommon for managers to work nights and weekends to catch up and deliver the results that are expected of them. The Town appreciates they are focused and result-oriented.”

“These are the salaries that good people make,” Grimaudo said. “To attract excellent people, whether in private or public, you have to pay.”

The mayor said administration at the Town of St. Lazare has not ruled out the possibility of legal action against Meades for posting the document publicly.

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