Township management ‘a bit lean’ report says

Review by outside consultant released by municipality

A review by an outside consultant found the Township of Langley has roughly one-third fewer managers than other mid-to-large-sized Lower Mainland municipalities.

The “municipal staff benchmarking survey” carried out by KPMG found that the average number of “exempt” or non-union staff in Abbotsford, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Maple Ridge and Surrey was 107, compared to 73 in the Township.

Exempt employees are people who are excluded from the union bargaining unit, the majority of whom are managers.

KPMG reported that as of 2013, the six benchmark municipalities had an average of 11 exempt staff in their municipal administration divisions compared to three in the Township; 22 in corporate administration compared to 12 in Langley; 28 in engineering compared to 21 in Langley; 14 in finance compared to seven in Langley; 12 in parks and recreation compared to 11 in Langley; eight in human resources compared to six in Langley and 12 in community development compared to 13 in Langley (the only category where the Township had more exempt staff than average).

The data did not include fire and police.

An unsigned internal memo from the director of human resources to the municipal administrator says “on a straight number comparison, the Township exempt complement still appears to be a bit lean.”

The memo says the KPMG survey also found the “Township has fewer regular, full-time staff and slightly fewer regular part-time staff, relative to our population.”

It did not give exact numbers.

The study was mentioned during a Monday Township council discussion of a staff proposal that would have added 14 full-time employees by redirecting money currently used to hire outside contractors.

The proposal was temporarily withdrawn by staff to make a “better business case,” Township CAO Mark Bakken said.

When councillor Charlie Fox said he “always felt our staffing is thin,” Bakken said a study by an outside consultant showed the Township has fewer employees compared to other communities.

The Nov. 26, 2014 memo discussing the KPMG study was released Tuesday following a request by The Times.

The memo also refers to a 2013 Metro Vancouver municipal benchmarking report that found Langley Township exempt employees are managing more union workers than most Lower Mainland municipalities of similar or smaller populations.

The Langley ratio is one exempt staffer for every 12 union employees, more than Delta, where the ratio is one to eight, and more than the District of North Vancouver, where the ratio is one to four.

Among the 10 municipalities only Coquitlam has a higher ratio than Langley, one exempt staffer for every 13 unionized employees.

Langley Times