The Ottawa Citizen

Document Sample
The Ottawa Citizen Powered By Docstoc
					The Ottawa Citizen
City slashes $100,000 club by 19%
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Page: B1 / FRONT
Section: City
Byline: Lee Greenberg, with files from Jake Rupert and Laura Drake
Dateline: TORONTO
Source: The Ottawa Citizen
Illustrations: Colour Photo: Bruno Schlumberger The Ottawa Citizen / Mayor Larry O'Brien and city manager Kent Kirkpatrick bookend the Top 20 list for municipal
salaries. But guess who tops it at $274,703 and bottoms out at $159,051?

Colour Photo: Michael Flanagan: $179,839

Colour Photo: Sue O'Sullivan: $179,179

Colour Photo: Baby Kotlarewsky: $176,369

Colour Photo: Steve Kanellakos: $212,989

Colour Photo: David Salisbury: $202,670

Colour Photo: Nancy Schepers: $186,530 Colour Photo: Réjean Chartrand: $175,457

Graphic/Diagram: (City of Ottawa's top 20 salaries)

TORONTO - The number of $100,000-plus earners
at Ottawa City Hall dropped substantially last year,                                  Continued from page B1
bucking a provincial trend that saw nearly 25 per cent
more civil servants making more than $100,000 in                                      She said many organizations realize that having or
2007.                                                                                 allowing employees to work excessive overtime
                                                                                      detracts from the quality of work they do and
In Ottawa, 195 city employees broke the $100,000                                      contributes to burnout.
threshold in 2007, 45 fewer than one year earlier,
according to provincial data released yesterday. That                                 She said in certain cases, overtime is predictable, and
represents a 19-per-cent drop.                                                        it's time to look for ways to reduce the amount of
                                                                                      extra hours some officers work.
Councillor Alex Cullen says city managers deserve
credit for reining in overtime after a series of                                      "When you have salaries that are almost doubled due
damning reports on the subject over the past couple                                   to overtime, some almost every year," she said, "I
of years.                                                                             think that says we need to start looking at how
                                                                                      overtime is being used."
"They've been successful in dealing with some of
these problems," he said.                                                             She pointed to several sergeants on the force, whose
                                                                                      base salaries are $83,000 to $89,000, taking home
But Mr. Cullen says delivering the same message to                                    pay packages in the $150,000 range last year as
the Ottawa police force is a difficult task, because                                  examples.
they are not direct employees of the city and because
their job is complicated by events (like protests)                                    Chief White said, in most cases, the officers work in
targeting the city.                                                                   specialized units, like major crime, that demand
                                                                                      overtime hours, but said he, too, is concerned about
A total of 213 police officers -- of 1,800 people on                                  burnout.
the payroll -- made the list. By comparison, the 195
city workers on the list come from a workforce of                                     While the police numbers represent a modest rise,
nearly 17,000. "(They) stick out like a sore thumb,"                                  certain other Ottawa institutions included on the
Mr. Cullen said, referring to the police. "When you                                   provincial "sunshine list" spiked dramatically.
go through it, sure you've got inspectors earning good
coin, but you've got a lot of constables and sergeants                                Carleton University's presence expanded by nearly 50
who are picking up overtime."                                                         per cent, rising to 433 staff from 290 one year earlier.

River Councillor Maria McRae expressed concern                                        The high earners included former president David
about the amount of overtime some officers are                                        Atkinson, who earned about $488,000 in 2007. Mr.
allowed to work or are expected to work.                                              Atkinson resigned suddenly in November 2006 after
                                                                                      only 15 months on the job. He is also a professor in
She pointed out that several officers are almost                                      the English department.
doubling their salaries, some every year, due to
overtime.                                                                             Carleton spokeswoman Lin Moody declined a
                                                                                      request to be interviewed and would not explain Mr.
See MEET on PAGE B3                                                                   Atkinson's high salary. In an e-mail, she said the
                                                                                      sudden rise in highly paid employees was due to
Meet Ottawa's $100,000 club                                                           "retroactive payments made to some employees as
                                                                                      the result of the settlement of certain collective                                                                                                                                        Page 1
agreements."                                               Ontario will never make $100,000 unless they
                                                           happen to win the lottery or something like that," he
The number of high earners at the Ottawa-Carleton          told reporters in Ottawa.
District School Board nearly doubled, rising to 157
from 79 a year ago.                                        "So I think that $100,000, while it isn't worth exactly
                                                           the same amount it was worth five years ago, is still a
While the majority of high earners at the board are        very large amount of money for people to be making
principals, two teachers crack the list. Jean Gingerich    at the taxpayers' expense."
earned nearly $124,000 in 2007, while Joy Panabaker
earned a little more than $101,500.

The Catholic board saw a relatively minor increase in
its high earners. Thirteen additional employees
cracked the list last year, as the total rose to 88.

Across the province, the spike was significant, as the
annual sunshine list rose by nearly 24 per cent. In
total, 42,527 employees earned more than $100,000
in 2007.

The top earner in the province was Paul Haggis, CEO
of OMERS (Ontario Municipal Employees
Retirement System). Mr. Haggis earned $2.24 million
in 2007 as well as about $10,000 in taxable benefits.

Three other public-sector employees earned more
than $1 million, including another OMERS executive
and two executives from Ontario Power Generation.

Indeed, the energy sector, along with health,
routinely pumps out the highest paid public sector
employees in the province.

Universities, however, hold the largest number of top
earners. Nearly 9,400 university employees made the
list released yesterday, an increase of 1,521, or 19 per
cent, over 2006.

The "sunshine list" was put in place in 1996 as a
transparency measure to guard against runaway
public sector salaries.

Deputy Premier George Smitherman yesterday
questioned the the $100,000 threshold, which has
been in place since the Public Sector Salary
Disclosure Act became law more than a decade ago.
The same salary would be equivalent to about
$128,000 today.

"If the $100,000 figure had originally been
inflation-protected, two-thirds of those individuals
wouldn't be on the list at all," Mr. Smitherman said in
the legislature.

"Mostly, this is about people who have, through
slight advances in their pay, just made it across the
line," Mr. Smitherman later told reporters, adding his
government had no plans to raise the salary threshold.

"I don't think that's anything we committed to," he

Conservative leader John Tory urged the government
to keep the limit the same. He accused the McGuinty
Liberals of treating public sector hiring like an
"all-you-can-eat buffet."

"Most people who pay their taxes in the province of                                                                                             Page 2

Shared By: