Should City of Calgary Managers have been paid Overtime during the 2013 flood?

Calgary Municipal Election

Managers and supervisors at the City of Calgary are divided into five levels, from level one being the city manager Owen Tobert to level five being supervisors and other senior officials.

During the flooding, overtime was claimed by level 3, 4, and 5 managers.  This article discusses the $307,0001 that was paid to the level 3 managers for overtime during the flood.


The managers should not be paid the overtime

The managers should be paid the overtime

Fair Remuneration

Managers at this level are paid very well and should be treated as though they are on salary.  In the private sector, individuals at this managerial level are paid to complete a job rather than paid an hourly rate.

Because these managers are eligible for bonuses, they should be ineligible for overtime.  There should be only one method to reward work that exceeds normal expectations.

Many Calgarians across the city volunteered to spend their free time contributing to the flood recovery.  No additional financial motivation should be required to encourage upper level managers to contribute during an emergency.

Fair Remuneration

During emergencies like the flooding, we need to create as much motivation as possible for people to be able to react immediately and unreservedly.  Overtime pay is an appropriate mechanism for encouraging people to work extra hours and to let them know that the additional work they are doing is appreciated. People who work overtime should be paid overtime. 

These managers worked very hard in a very stressful situation to minimize flood impact and maximize flood recovery.  The value of the work completed could have been more than what was paid for it.  If the city managers hadn’t worked the overtime, there could have been a cost of more than $300,000 to calgarians in additional property damage or lost revenue from slower recovery.

Current Policy

The current policy is unreasonable and shouldn’t have been followed.  Highly paid managers should have known not to charge their time.

Current Policy

The managers who charged overtime were following the legal policy.  To retract the policy now would be punishing them for following procedures.



Instead of discussing whether managers should have been paid for work that has been completed, we can look at the policy and make changes for future emergencies.

Manager Overtime

How should the City of Calgary deal with Manager's charging overtime during the flood?



I don't know.


Paid time should be honoured, the managers were following policy. However, the policy should be reviewed.


The City should do nothing. They worked hard and deserve that overtime.


High paid managers shouldn't have been paid overtime. The policy should be revoked and managers who received pay should have to refund it.
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1.     Calgary Herald: Calgary management's flood overtime pay: the details

2.    Sun News: Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he will push for management overtime changes if he wins second term

3.    Huffpost Alberta: Calgary Flood Overtime: Albertans Divided on Fairness of Payment

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