Better management needed!!

70,000 Ontario public workers make over $100,000 a year

01/04/2011 8:30:00 AM
by Daniela Syrovy

Ontario has released it’s annual “sunshine list” - the names and salaries of all public sector workers making over $100,000. Do our civil servants make too much?

Ontario’s annual sunshine list discloses the highest paid earners in the public sector. The list reveals the names, salaries and bonuses of all Ontario government workers who are paid more than $100,000.

Hydro workers, police, TTC collectors, hospital CEOS, university chancellors - the list includes every civil servant in the province making over the $100,00 threshold. So how many people are on it? Over 70,000 workers.

One of the more controversial revelations on the list is the fact that the current Governor General, David Johnston earned over a million dollars annual as the president of the University of Waterloo. His salary is second only to Tom Mitchell, president and CEO of Ontario Power Generation who earned $1.32 million in 2010.

I support paying hard working civil servants what they’re worth and it’s true in this day that $100,000 is not life changing or “rich;” not when the average house in Toronto goes for $400,000. Plus, some talent is worth paying to keep. If Johnston, a brilliant mind and manager weren’t earning that much here he could have easily gone to the United States to get it. Canada does need to work hard to compete on the international scale.

Still, there’s something about these wages that doesn’t feel right. Does it make sense that the Toronto Police Chief makes $324,940 a year while Premier McGuinty makes $208,948? Even worse, does it make sense for the CEO of a hospital to make 40 or 50 times the amount of its front line workers?

The government is considering raising the threshold on who qualifies for this list, say from $100,000 to $125,000. The argument is that 70% of the list would be cut. While the list wouldn’t look as glaringly gross next time around there would still be a load of CEOs making an astronomical amount of money.

So rather than raise the threshold on who qualifies why not place a cap on what is earned? Or a cap on bonuses? There seems to be some inherent sense of entitlement that goes along with many government positions. The standard seems to be that if you are in a position of power you should be making many, many, many times that of the lowest paid worker in the organization.

If the lowest paid worker makes $40,000 a year, wouldn’t it be adequate for the highest paid one to make $400,000? Call me crazy but reigning in these types of wages could save us millions in tax dollars and might feel a little more fair to the average Jane or Joe.

Right wing governments have systemically undermined the middle class for as long as I can remember. They do this by lowering the taxes for big companies and the people with very high incomes. If you analogize Harper’s tax cuts you will find they favour the high income people. That is the new tax cuts. Most of his so called tax cuts are already in place. The Conservatives are trying to tell us that they are going to provide a medical tax credit for medical costs over 3% of our taxable income. That was the credit in 1961 when I filed my first income tax report. What is unbelievable is that some fools actually believe that this is a new tax break!
It’s been on the books for more than 50 years.