Removing municipal employees’ names in wage disclosures over a certain value would protect workers privacy, Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) delegates heard as they voted Sept. 26 to lobby Victoria for such a change to the province’s Financial Information Act.
The motion from the City of New Westminster said the act requires municipalities to submit an annual statement of financial information noting each employee earning more than a prescribed amount, the total remuneration paid to the employee and the total amount paid for the employee's expenses.
The motion said local governments seek like other employers to create safe and harassment-free spaces for employees in a social media age where criticism of public employees has become more aggressive and personal.
Employees, it said, have expectations of privacy and the ability to control personal data such as financial information.
The resolution suggests publishing salaries linked to job position titles rather than using names.
The UBCM resolutions committee’s comments on the motion said the Financial Information Regulation specifically states that a name is one of the reporting requirements.
New Westminster Coun. Patrick Johnstone said employees are not comfortable having their names appear in newspapers with their salaries.
The change would not affect the reporting of wages as expenses, he said.