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BEHIND THE SCENES: Spotlight on leaked documents spurs city review of salary policy's Tyler Clarke takes us behind the scenes

In each “Behind the Scenes” segment, Village Media's Scott Sexsmith sits down with one of our local journalists to talk about the story behind the story.

These interviews are designed to help you better understand how our community-based reporters gather the information that lands in your local news feed. You can find more Behind the Scenes from reporter across Ontario here

Today's spotlight is on's Tyler Clarke, whose story "Spotlight on leaked documents spurs city review of salary policy" was published on Mar. 26.

Below is the full story, in case you missed it.

Following last week’s news of unreported 2023 wage hikes for City of Greater Sudbury non-union managers, the city’s elected officials passed a resolution to review the policy that allowed these increases to take place.

The vote came during Tuesday’s finance and administration committee meeting of city council, and received unanimous support.

The evening meeting followed approximately three hours of closed meetings, including one that postponed a preceding audit committee meeting to discuss “an incident in the corporate services department,” and another to discuss “a performance review.”

Tuesday night’s motion resolves that city CAO Ed Archer review the city’s salary administration policy for non-union positions, and that the report be tabled with the city’s elected officials by September. Per the motion, the review is to assess the suitability of comparator municipalities, the method for determining how positions are compared and include clearly defined principles that guide the policy’s scope.

The city’s auditor general has been asked to review the results of the report and propose any recommended policy changes “with the objective of providing independent assurance on the process steps taken during the review.”

A resolution calling for the review was moved by Ward 5 Coun. Mike Parent and seconded by Ward 9 Coun.(and meeting chair) Deb McIntosh. Its unanimous support excludes Mayor Paul Lefebvre and Ward 2 Coun. Eric Benoit, who were not present.

“The salary administration policy has not been amended since 2004,” Parent said, adding that in light of recent attention brought to the policy, it’s time for a review.

Ward 9 Coun. Deb McIntosh, pictured chairing Tuesday’s finance and administration committee meeting of city council, seconded a motion by Ward 5 Coun. Mike Parent to review the city’s salary administration policy. Tyler Clarke /

Following the meeting, McIntosh told that she seconds this sentiment.

After 20 years and no review, the city’s longstanding salary policy needs to be reviewed, McIntosh said, adding that last year’s wage hike indicates the city has not been following it.

“We’ve been seriously lagging,” she said, noting that the policy dictates the city should be at the 50th percentile (middle) in wages among comparator municipalities, and last year’s hike was intended to help them catch up.

The topic of City of Greater Sudbury staff members’ salaries was thrust into the public spotlight last week, when broke the story that city CAO Ed Archer had approved an eight per-cent wage hike for the city’s top non-union managers.

This, in addition to their regular three-per-cent cost of living increase.

In September 2023, city council unanimously approved a bylaw which delegated authority allowing Archer to alter these wages in accordance with council-approved policies. learned about the wage increase last week upon receiving leaked documents from an anonymous tipster(s) in a brown envelope signed “Honest City Employees.”

There were 23 roles whose wages were boosted in pay groups 16-18 (management positions), and eight people whose wages were increased in pay group 15.

Information received from city staff on Tuesday evening indicated that this readjustment carried a total cost of $520,000.

Last year, the spokesperson noted, 33 unionized roles filled by approximately 169 staff (approximate, due to part-time positions) in CUPE 4705 and CUPE 148 also received wage hikes in addition to regular three-per-cent general wage increases. This readjustment in unionized wages came at a total cost of $651,000.

These adjustments, the spokesperson explained, was to “better align with market expectations.” reached out to all 13 members of Greater Sudbury city council last week for their reactions to the wage increases the tipster alerted us to. Additional clarity was also sought through an interview with Archer and by receiving the 2004 salary administration policy, which we secured a partially redacted version of.

This follow-up story will be published soon.

The action clauses of tonight’s motion were as follows:

BE IT RESOLVED that Council direct the Chief Administrative Office to produce a review of the corporation’s Salary Administration Policy for non-union positions for a finance and administration committee meeting in the third quarter of 2024 that, at a minimum, includes:

  • An assessment of the suitability of comparator municipalities and the basis for identifying them;
  • The method for determining how the corporation’s positions are compared with other jurisdictions; 
  • Clearly defined principles that guide the policy’s scope and its application and alignment with Council’s strategic priorities;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chief Administrative Officer engage the Auditor General to analyze the results of this review and any recommended policy changes with the objective of providing independent assurance on teh process steps taken during the review.

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for