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Municipality of The Nation

August 15, 201915 August 2019

The Ombudsman found that council for the Municipality of The Nation contravened the Municipal Act, 2001 when it discussed in closed session the subject of changes to councillor remuneration. The Ombudsman found this discussion did not fall within the exception for personal matters that was cited for closing the meeting.

City of St. Catharines

February 14, 201914 February 2019

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting that was held by council for the City of St. Catharines to discuss a proposed staff position, government relations adviser, under the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. Council’s discussion focused on the role and nature of the proposed staff position, including the position’s general responsibilities and duties, salary, and contract length. The Ombudsman found that the discussion did not fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception because the discussion did not pertain to the relationship between the municipality and its employees or reference specific individuals who might be hired.

City of Timmins

January 23, 201723 January 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Timmins, which relied on the personal matters exception to discuss the upcoming retirement of the chief administrative officer (CAO). Council discussed the CAO’s salary and the recruitment process to hire a new CAO. There were no candidates identified or discussed during the meeting. The Ombudsman found that general consideration of a hiring process is not personal information and does not fit within the personal matters exception unless the discussion is incidental or brief. Therefore, council’s discussion about the recruitment process did not fit within the personal matters exception.

Township of Russell

April 19, 201619 April 2016

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Township of Russell to discuss councillor compensation and employee compensation. Council’s discussion about staff compensation involved a discussion about systematic changes to the municipality’s salary grid. While the municipality did not rely on the labour relations or employee negotiations exception, the Ombudsman found that compensation matters relating to staff members fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. The Ombudsman found that councillor remuneration matters do not fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception since council members are not municipal employees.

Township of Russell

April 19, 201619 April 2016

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Township of Russell that relied on the closed matters exception to discuss councillor remuneration and staff remuneration. Council’s discussion about employee compensation involved a discussion about systematic changes to the municipality’s salary grid and changes to the salary of identified employees. The Ombudsman found that council’s discussion about employee compensation involved personal information about identifiable individuals and therefore, this portion of council’s discussion fit within the personal matters exception. The Ombudsman found that discussion of councillor remuneration did not fit within the personal matters exception.

Village of Casselman

January 29, 201629 January 2016

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Village of Casselman to discuss a municipal organizational chart, individual staff positions, and staff restructuring. The meeting was closed under the personal matters exception. The Ombudsman found that the discussion about salary ranges for management positions on its own did not fit within the exception; however, in this case the discussion of salary ranges was related to the broader discussion of individual staff positions. Therefore, the discussion fit within the personal matters exception.

Township of Russell

November 02, 201502 November 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Township of Russell to discuss a staff member who was a candidate for the position of deputy clerk. The meeting relied on the personal matters exception. When council resumed the open session, it appointed the individual to the position of deputy clerk. The Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the personal matters exception since it identified the candidate by name and covered the individual’s employment history, job performance, and salary information.

City of Elliot Lake

April 24, 201524 April 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed closed meetings held by council for the City of Elliot Lake, which relied on the personal matters exception to discuss the recruitment of a new chief administrative officer (CAO). The discussions involved changes to the current CAO’s contract and extending the service of the current CAO. The Ombudsman found that the information discussed by council during the meetings related to specific terms of an identified employee’s contract, including salary. Accordingly, the discussion fit within the personal matters exception.

City of Elliot Lake

April 24, 201524 April 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed closed meetings held by council for the City of Elliot Lake to discuss the recruitment of a new chief administrative officer (CAO). The discussions involved changes to the current CAO’s contract and extending the service of the current CAO. The Ombudsman found that the information discussed by council during the meetings related to specific terms of an identified employee’s contract, including salary. Accordingly, the discussion fit within the exception for labour relations or employee negotiations.

Municipality of South Huron

March 02, 201502 March 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Municipality of South Huron that relied on the personal matters exception to discuss a number of staffing issues. The discussion included issues of staff performance reviews, reorganization, staff conduct, discipline, and the salaries of specific employees. The Ombudsman found that these matters are considered personal information for the purposes of the Municipal Act, 2001 and therefore they fit within the personal matters exception.

Municipality of South Huron

March 02, 201502 March 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Municipality of South Huron to discuss a number of staffing issues, relying the labour relations exception. The discussion included staff performance reviews, staff conduct, discipline, and the salaries of specific employees. The Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception.

City of Timmins

April 09, 201409 April 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Timmins that relied on the labour relations or employee negotiations exception to discuss the annual wage increase for council and non-union staff. It was the municipality’s long-standing practice to link council salaries to non-union staff salary rates. The discussion did not specifically address council remuneration separate from consideration of the general wage increase to apply to non-union staff. The Ombudsman found that the labour relations or employee negotiations exception applies to relations and conditions of work beyond those of collective bargaining, including remuneration outside of a traditional employment arrangement. The Ombudsman found that council’s consideration of a wage increase for non-unionized staff fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. The Ombudsman found that the exception may only apply to council remuneration where it is linked to non-union staff remuneration and there is no separate consideration of council salaries.

Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands

December 06, 201306 December 2013

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by the Personnel Committee for the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands to discuss information and staff opinions on senior staff compensation. The meeting was closed under the exception for labour relations or employee negotiations. The committee’s mandate was to make recommendations to council about this issue and to negotiate a tentative agreement with employees on remuneration and retention. The Ombudsman found that the committee’s discussion fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception because the discussion was dealing directly with the terms of employment for senior staff.

Township of Bonfield

October 30, 201330 October 2013

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by the Personnel Committee for the Township of Bonfield that relied on the labour relations or employee negotiations exception to discuss specific municipal employees, their jobs and pay status. The Ombudsman found that the committee’s discussion fit within the cited exception.

Town of Mattawa

January 11, 201111 January 2011

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Mattawa, which relied on the personal matters exception to discuss the salary of a staff member. The Ombudsman found that an individual’s salary, as opposed to a salary range for a position, may qualify as personal information. Therefore, the discussion fit within the exception.