Sunshine List – Local Highlights

A few days ago, the Ontario Government published the annual “Sunshine List” – that’s where they name every person employed by a Government agency who made $100,000 salary or more in 2021.  It’s justified as being information that should be available to taxpayers who ultimately fund these salaries. They are after all,  “Public Servants”.  There are 244,390 names on the list and it’s easy for interesting facts to get lost.  I have extracted the people who are working for municipalities in Northumberland County and this reduces the list to a manageable 167.  Below are some things we can learn from that list – but note that I focus on job title and not names.  The full list is public so the names are not really kept confidential; I’m just not blasting (most) names out.

General Comments

  • The list is getting longer every year because inflation means $100,000 is not as big a number as it used to be and a case can be made that the threshold should be nearer $150,000.
  • You can be sure that many of those listed will be comparing notes with similar employees – I see that as an unfortunate side effect.
  • Employees of non Municipal Ontario Government Organizations such as School boards (e.g. Teachers and Principals), the Health unit, Ontario Hydro etc are not on my reduced list but their jobs are mostly not comparable to Municipal jobs (there are some exceptions).
  • OPP employees are not divided out by Geography so Police salaries for (e.g.) Trent Hills, cannot be compared to Cobourg.
  • Lakefront Utilities is not included as an Ontario Government employer so their employees are not on this list.

Comparisons between Municipalities

  CAO Salary Treasurer $ Director Median $ Population
Northumberland $205,716 $151,567 $152,000 88,823
Cobourg $174,889 $139,609 $138,000 20,519
Port Hope $193,653 $137,260 $127,000 17,294
Trent Hills $133,406 $111,893 $118,000 13,861
Brighton $167,974 $113,126 $124,000 12,108
Hamilton $146,798 $112,944 $113,000 11,059
Alnwick/Haldimand $117,006 $102,714 + $103,000 7,473
Cramahe $120,569 * NA 6,509

* Cramahe’s CAO is also the Treasurer 
+ Alnwick/Haldimand’s treasurer also has other responsibilities

Cobourg Highlights

  • The highest paid Cobourg Employee is the Police Chief at $192,820
  • The next highest is Glenn McGlashon at $177,483 but he “retired” during the year so no doubt got some kind of payout.
  • Third is CAO Tracey Vaughan at $174,889
  • The next 6 are Police and Fire personnel.
  • There are 30 Cobourg Police employees on the list.
  • There are 13 Cobourg Fire employees on the list.
  • A total of 57 Cobourg employees are on the list

I have provided links below to both the full Ontario List and my edited “Northumberland” list.

Resources

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Dunkirk
27 March 2022 6:22 pm

20+ years ago when the Sunshine List began, 6% of the Ontario population was declaring earnings over $100k. That included both Public & Private Sector. Today–although our population has increased significantly, only 6% of the population still earns $100k.
Without doing the math, I would have to assume two things to be true:
(1)that Public Sector/Government Wages have not gone down in the last 2 decades
and
(2) the number of Public Employees has not gone down either.

As a case in point–our Town had 2 staff on the list in 2004 and now we have 58 with much higher average earnings…

So–every sector outside Government is both earning less and with a lesser proportion of candidates in the over $100k level. I am sure an accurate local wage analysis would be more shocking.

cornbread
Reply to  Dunkirk
27 March 2022 10:25 pm

Dunkirk, you are right on target with your analysis…Govt. workers with their very strong unions have won the day…not only on wages, but also fringe benefits and especially pension benefits at the taxpayers expense.

Dunkirk
Reply to  cornbread
28 March 2022 1:55 pm

Sadly Cornbread, the Government/Union excess it’s a more dramatic story locally, where we have 60% of our population NOT working at all and a private sector that has lost 2,000 jobs since 2018…
The vacancies for positions making less than living wage in a Town where a new home costs $800k is a tragedy we can’t forget when our Public Servants ‘demand’ cost-of-living allowances/adjustments in their next contracts.

David
27 March 2022 4:52 pm

Kathleen, it all depends on the employer and the union you are with. I know that in my nursing career, private sector nurses usually made slightly more money than public sector nurses, however, the great leveler was the benefit package that was negotiated especially if it included defined benefits as opposed to defined contributions, It also helps if increases geared to inflation were also negotiated. Those benefits really come to the fore in retirement,
In terms of the sunshine list, many times the only reason that some make it, is if they are in a position to take advantage of overtime, especially with nurses and firefighters, The reason I don’t like the sunshine list is because it is used to promote the notion that government workers have cushy jobs. That is a false notion if it is not accompanied by a realistic assessment of the hard work that most public sector workers do.

Kathleen
27 March 2022 2:18 pm

I know some Toronto Fire Fighters that disagree with small town Fire Fighters being paid on par because the job hrs and requirements are not the same. But they’re all in the same Union.

Last edited 5 months ago by Kathleen
Informed
Reply to  Kathleen
27 March 2022 6:38 pm

Im sure smaller departments dont have the same budget and equipment as larger depts. Im sure the smoke and toxins are the same though.

Barry
27 March 2022 12:50 pm

In 2018, the Fraser Institute published a comparison of public sector vs private sector jobs in Ontario and found that public sector jobs paid on average 10.3% more than equivalent private sector jobs. It also stated that non-salary benefits for public sector jobs was better, that is 90% of public sector employees had pensions based upon defined benefit packages (with cost of living increases guaranteed) where as only 45% of the private sector had pensions which were typically defined contribution (no cost of living increases). In addition, public sector jobs were very secure whereas private sector jobs were considered insecure. Public sector annual vacation time is better than public sector vacation time. Public sector post-employment medical benefits were also much better than post-employment medical benefits in the private sector. Overall, public service employees did much better than their counterparts in the private sector.

Barry
27 March 2022 11:41 am

If the employee is getting paid with public dollars, the public has a right to know the amount being paid.

Tucker
27 March 2022 10:09 am

Personally, I don’t think it’s anybodies business what employees make. That “sunshine list” should be abolished. It just makes for insults and jealousy toward the people that have managed to have earned that position and salary.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Tucker
27 March 2022 11:21 am

Personally, I don’t think it’s anybodies business what employees make. That “sunshine list” should be abolished. It just makes for insults and jealousy toward the people that have managed to have earned that position and salary.

Tucker, consider entries such as Penny Sutcliffe who earned $800,726.37 as Sudbury Public Health Officer. With the high salary attributed to “overtime”, I can only assume that you are being facetious.

marya
Reply to  Ken Strauss
27 March 2022 11:33 am

Too many public employees are maligned due to the belief that they only work from 9-5 for such salaries when in reality they are most often literally working 24/7. Their family members can easily verify those facts.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  marya
27 March 2022 11:58 am

Marya, in my experience many private sector employees work outside of 9-5. Even if not physically at the office I was often planning how to solve work related problems, finishing reports, etc. at home. Certainly entrepreneurs earning over $800k (mostly only company owners earn nearly as much as that) do!

Also, according to https://www.ontario.ca/document/your-guide-employment-standards-act-0/overtime-pay, “Managers and supervisors do not qualify for overtime if the work they do is managerial or supervisory.” With that in mind it seems strange that Ms. Sutcliffe got over $400K in overtime pay!

Last edited 5 months ago by Ken Strauss
marya
Reply to  Ken Strauss
27 March 2022 5:35 pm

The article for Health Services North reveals that Penny Sutcliffe’s stated salary was for two positions for two years- 2020 and 2021.

northernontario.ctvnews.ca

Ken Strauss
Reply to  marya
27 March 2022 6:49 pm

Double dipping?

marya
Reply to  Ken Strauss
28 March 2022 7:50 am

Where are the qualms with the Hydro One (males’) earners- each with over one million dollars?

marya
Reply to  Ken Strauss
28 March 2022 8:29 am

That’s a slap in the face of all Healthcare Workers during a Pandemic. Penny Sutcliffe and All are worthy of every cent, and more.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  marya
28 March 2022 10:04 am

Marya, Ms. Sutcliffe is not a “healthcare worker” but an administrator — a bureaucrat. IMHO no bureaucrat in a rather small, low cost of living town, is worth $800K per year. The money would have been far better spent on nurses/doctors or others who actually provide healthcare.

marya
Reply to  Ken Strauss
28 March 2022 12:37 pm

How is it known that “Doctor Penny Sutcliffe” (as well as being an administrator and a bureaucrat) did not provide healthcare during the pandemic in an area of the province that was facing staffing challenges?!

Ken Strauss
Reply to  marya
28 March 2022 2:45 pm

Marya, consider the facts:

  1. In 2018 (pre-pandemic) Ms. Sutcliffe was paid $337,492.56 plus $7,196.38 in taxable benefits as a Medical Officer of Health in Sudbury.
  2. The average RN in Ontario is paid $36.72/hour or about $76,000/year if working fulltime. That is less than one-tenth of Ms. Sutcliffe’s pay.
  3. There are over a dozen nurses working for Public Health Sudbury who barely made the $100K Club in 2021 with salaries of $101K to $125K (including overtime). Even these highly paid nurses with their overtime made less than one-sixth of Ms. Sutcliffe’s pay. By the way, there are “Administrative Assistants” employed by Public Health Sudbury who were paid considerably more than their nurses.
  4. The average family physician in Ontario earned $225,706 last year or less than a third of Ms. Sutcliffe’s pay (Ms. Sutcliffe trained as a family physician).

Marya, you’re attempting to defend the indefensible; government bureaucrats are overpaid relative to actual healthcare providers!

mary
Reply to  Ken Strauss
29 March 2022 9:21 am

Knowing the situations, I shall always support these remunerations for Doctor Penny Sutcliffe.

Just Wondering
Reply to  marya
28 March 2022 8:31 pm

As a doctor, if she provided healthcare, wouldn’t that be paid through OHIP, which is not included in the sunshine list?

Bryan
Reply to  Ken Strauss
28 March 2022 1:27 pm

Ken,

https://www.saultstar.com/news/local-news/covid-pushes-sudburys-top-doctors-pay-to-800000-in-2021#:~:text=Sutcliffe's%20disclosure%2C%20%24219%2C000%20is%20related,was%20paid%20%24347%2C324in%202020.

“Of Dr. Sutcliffe’s disclosure, $219,000 is related to overtime worked in 2020, but not paid until 2021 and a further $263,000 is related to overtime worked and paid in 2021.”
Dr. Sutcliffe was paid $347,324 in 2020.

Total $829,324

As you suggest in a prior comment one or more front line staff (a doctor, or several NPs or RNs) could have been hired with Dr. Sutcliffe’s OT money.

No explanation has been provided regarding why so much admin OT was required. If the OT was front line work, was she paid the same as other front line workers?

Last edited 5 months ago by Bryan
ben
Reply to  Ken Strauss
27 March 2022 2:23 pm

Did you ever have your salary disclosed when you were working Ken. If not why not?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
27 March 2022 3:35 pm

I’m reasonably certain that my employer knew my salary. Government employees are paid by the taxpayers. Ben, from the tone of your question, do you somehow feel that we shouldn’t know how much our employees are paid?

ben
Reply to  Ken Strauss
27 March 2022 6:42 pm

Of course we should know Ken but apples to apples and transparency abounds and you want to hide behind privacy rules. As you know you are not allowed to know the salary of people under 100K – only the salary range they fall in. So why the difference once you hit 100K.

quote from the Toronto Star

Back in 1996, Harris set a $100,000 threshold for disclosure, but time hasn’t stood still. Adjusted for inflation, that benchmark should at the very least be updated to $155,960 for the latest salary disclosure.”

Put another way, the Bank of Canada inflation calculator pegs today’s unadjusted $100,000 salary threshold as being equal to $64,120 back in 1996 — far below the figure that Harris set his sights on. There’s a reason even he didn’t target that lower number back then — $64,000 isn’t as provocative.”

So how many of the Town’s people would we know about if the 100K was inflation was taken into account?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
27 March 2022 6:58 pm

Ben, the solution is not to eliminate disclosure but to apply Saskatchewan’s rules and lower the threshold to force salary disclosure for anyone earning of over $50K in a taxpayer funded job. Sadly, only Crown Corporations in SK are reported.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Tucker
27 March 2022 12:15 pm

How do you ean that position??

Tucker
Reply to  Sandpiper
27 March 2022 8:53 pm

By going to school, college, earning degrees and pushing yourself hard for what you want. I don’t begrudge these people what they earn and the health sector certainly deserves it, I just don’t find it relative to have the salary “out there” for everyones nosey little mind to complain about. And by the way, you can’t spell.

Concerned
Reply to  Tucker
5 April 2022 9:35 am

It gives those who weren’t in the public service a chance to complain. Everyone has/had an opportunity to work in the public service don’t get upset with them because they are fortunate enough to work in the sector. If you want to direct your anger anywhere blame your previous CAOs and councils for giving away the farm to the union. This union has far too much power and you will never get it back.

David
27 March 2022 8:37 am

There has historically been the notion/opinion that government workers are overpaid and that they do not work hard for the money that they do make. Let me make the alternative declaration. I worked for the Ontario Government for over 30 years as a psychiatric nurse. I worked extremely hard for all of those years as well as the multi disciplinary team members we had the privilege to work with. To be fair, were there workers who one might describe as dead weight? Of course, but I dare say that you could find these individuals in the private sector as well as the public sector. A shout out to all those hard working public sector workers who worked extremely hard over long careers and had to listen to the constant berating and brow beating of those who think that we make much and do little to earn it.

Sandpiper
Reply to  David
27 March 2022 12:24 pm

In the Private sector you can get rid of Dead Wood as you put it
In the public Sector usually unionized they have a job for Life with a pension ,
benefits and cost of living wage increases that the rest of us self employed / small business employees dream about .
Have you looked into the CPP and OAS increases that the self employed
receive its NOTHING over the last 10 yrs with decreasing drug and medical coverage.

ben
Reply to  Sandpiper
27 March 2022 2:26 pm

This is so much BS you can get fired just as easily in the Public Sector as you can in the Private Sector, the only difference is that it takes a lot more work in the public sector to do it – lazy management will fail to do it properly everytime. The rules for firing are the same for all in the workplace.

Kathleen
Reply to  ben
27 March 2022 3:08 pm

Yes, but only if you are a Management employee in the Public Sector.
It is MUCH harder to fire a Union employee in the Public Sector. There are 1st, 2nd and 3 step grievances to go through and much, much more.

Informed
Reply to  Kathleen
27 March 2022 6:43 pm

Maybe it should be harder to fire people the private sector? How would you like to be fired in the private sector because your boss doesn’t like you or what your wear?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Informed
27 March 2022 6:59 pm

Perhaps staff would dress better!

Informed
Reply to  Ken Strauss
27 March 2022 7:16 pm

You missed the point.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
27 March 2022 3:37 pm

Ben, does that mean that we have lazy, overpaid, management in the public sector? All the more reason to know how much they are paid and to criticize them!

ben
Reply to  Ken Strauss
27 March 2022 6:38 pm

Now you are twisting words Ken.

Concerned
Reply to  David
5 April 2022 9:36 am

It’s jealousy and nothing more.

Leweez
26 March 2022 8:22 pm

I notice that the firefighter charged with theft earned over $150,000 last year.Never heard what happened with the charges, anyone know how it got buried?

Sandpiper
Reply to  Leweez
27 March 2022 6:25 am

No idea about the Fire fighter but I understand that Glen is still consulting for / to
the town and has his own private consulting firm now . He has been seen there
early in the am. usually

Kathleen
Reply to  Sandpiper
27 March 2022 2:06 pm

So he is now “double-dipping”? Is the Town now paying him privately to consult? No law against it. Although some believe there should.

Concerned
Reply to  Kathleen
5 April 2022 9:44 am

He is allowed to consult there are policies governing what he can and can’t do.

cornbread
Reply to  Leweez
27 March 2022 10:35 pm

Anyone who gave this comment the “hands down” is just plsin stupid…the guy was a crook…put the crook in jail and try to recover the money thru sales of assets. Wake up some of you!

ben
Reply to  cornbread
27 March 2022 11:19 pm

Another stupid remark from Cornbread, obviously he knows nothing about the law. Innocent until proven guilty! Has this person gone to trial yet?

Informed
Reply to  cornbread
28 March 2022 9:01 am

I guess a Union would be good in this case to protect him from your type of due process.

Frenchy
Reply to  Leweez
28 March 2022 6:35 am

“Never heard what happened with the charges, anyone know how it got buried?”

I guess they got buried. 😕

For someone who claims they don’t know what happened to the charges, you’ve made a pretty bold statement by announcing that they got buried. Can you say “jump to conclusions” (with a hint of bias thrown in)?

Leweez
26 March 2022 8:16 pm

You say that “no doubt” Glenn McGlashon got a pay out, is this the standard for every municipal employee or just your opinion?

Leweez
Reply to  John Draper
26 March 2022 8:30 pm

oh, ok, so just your opinion
thanks

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Leweez
26 March 2022 9:52 pm

Yes, Leweez, it is only an opinion but…
Glen’s salary for 2020 was $142,774.12 and $177,483.04 in 2021. Do you think that it is likely that he got a $35,000 raise (+24%) in his last year? Consider Occam’s razor!

Last edited 5 months ago by Ken Strauss
Leweez
Reply to  Ken Strauss
26 March 2022 9:58 pm

ken, hold on, I have to google that.
But in the meantime, why would an employee be allowed to carry over that much vacation time and then cash it out at a higher salary rate?

Looking at the unionized town workers contract, they are only allowed to carry over 1 week of vacation time

Informed
Reply to  Leweez
27 March 2022 8:54 am

Why does everything appear to be a conspiracy to you? The Towns not going to pay him anymore than what was due.

Kyle
Reply to  Leweez
27 March 2022 12:54 pm

He was not part of the unionized workers.

Bryan
Reply to  Leweez
26 March 2022 9:45 pm

Leweez,

McGlashon was paid the following for
2019: $132k
2020: 143K
2021: 177K 10 months

The bump to 2020 was 8.3% and in 2021 23.8%
As noted by others, the bump is likely due to unpaid vacation and banked sick days

Leweez
Reply to  Bryan
26 March 2022 9:49 pm

So our municipal employees can bank sick days?
Do we know this for a fact?

Bryan
Reply to  Leweez
26 March 2022 10:00 pm

Leweez,
No, as the Town does not have a policy in this regard. Other than severance, how would you explain the big increase. Note that this was for only 10 months.

Leweez
Reply to  Bryan
26 March 2022 10:06 pm

I do not know, you were the one who said banked sick days.
in regards to severance, why would the Town offer him severance?
Did they want him gone?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Leweez
26 March 2022 10:32 pm

Perhaps not severance but likely unpaid vacation plus banked sick days.

Leweez
Reply to  Ken Strauss
26 March 2022 10:42 pm

Once again the question, our municipal employees are allowed to bank sick days?
look at the Town unionized municipal employee contract, they can’t bank sick days.
why would we allow non unionized employees to do this.
double standard?
Ken, what would the CTA think of this?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Leweez
26 March 2022 11:29 pm

As I wrote: “unpaid vacation plus banked sick days”. Perhaps staff cannot bank sick days so that component could be nil.

I don’t think that the CTA has a specific position on such issues other than that all HR rules should be discussed publicly, approved by Council, documented and consistently applied. Do you disagree?

marya
Reply to  Ken Strauss
27 March 2022 7:29 am

For sure! What a conundrum this is for the experts when employers cannot force anyone to “take sick days” when one is, or has been, healthy or honest! Why not be rewarded with a bonus?

Leweez
Reply to  Ken Strauss
27 March 2022 8:40 am

No I do not

ben
Reply to  Bryan
27 March 2022 10:18 am

Bryan could be other factors, for instance if the employee had maxed out on the OMERS contribution period – over 30 years, it may be that the Town continues to pay the employees contribution to the employee instead of OMERS. It has happened in the past.

Leweez
Reply to  ben
27 March 2022 12:15 pm

Omers eliminated the maximum contribution period 2 years ago(was 35 years). Now people can contribute for as long as they are employed eg: 40 years and beyond

Concerned
Reply to  Bryan
31 March 2022 10:21 pm

Town staff do not get paid out sick days.