City of Winnipeg officials admitted this afternoon they have no idea how many employees are on the payroll at any given time.
Chief Financial Officer Mike Ruta told the finance committee monitoring the number of employees and position vacancies is too cumbersome of a process.
"It would take our payroll department two months work," to calculate the number of employees on staff at the end of June, Ruta said.
Ruta’s admission left Coun. Paula Havixbeck puzzled.
"With automatic payroll, I bet every department head knows on payday how many employees in their department," Havixbeck (Charleswood-Tuxedo) said following the meeting. "Why can’t (councillors) be given this information?"
Ruta said he knows how many staff should be employed according to approved budget expectations but not the actual numbers.
Ruta said the city expects to save $14 million this year through vacancy management – a process that leaves job positions unfilled.
Ruta said the savings would come even though more staff have been hired in police, fire and paramedics, and transit departments
Havixbeck said the city was to have hired 320 additional employees this year – which should add about $16 million to the payroll -- but she doesn’t understand how the city can still find savings of $14 million by leaving some jobs unfilled.
At Havixbeck’s insistence, the finance committee passed a motion that will require the public service to present the number of full-time equivalent employees on a quarterly basis for 2014, along with quarterly financial reports.