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Thread: 2013 Sunshine List

  1. Default 2013 Sunshine List

    The 2013 edition of the Ontario $100k+ salaries list (aka the "Sunshine List") was "dumped with the trash" this afternoon. I'm sure it will provide for lots of tabloid (and other) journalism over the coming days. It's a bit hard to figure out which of the 10-or-so lists contains which entities. I was interested, for my own reasons, in looking at salaries of local electricity distributors but haven't figured out where to find them.

    One piece of info that smacked me across the face was the MORE THAN 3,000 MEMBERS OF THE TORONTO POLICE SERVICE ON THE LIST (see pages 178-244 of this list). Sorry for the shouting, but I was astonished. The combined annual salary of those Toronto police who earn over $100k per year (I'm not even sure if that includes the legalized protection racket that is "paid duty"; I'm actually pretty sure it doesn't) is likely almost HALF A BILLION DOLLARS. Per year.

    I truly must remember these tidbits the next time some right wing idiot starts talking about the travesty of city councillors getting free coffee. Perhaps this explains why Bill Blair chose this week as the appropriate time to admonish cops for their continued acts of idiocy.

    ***EDIT -- Oops. When I just googled some comparative figures for number of cops on the Sunshine List in previous years, I noticed that Chris Hume wrote about it in yesterday's column. Guess I haven't been keeping up with Hume.

    ***2nd Edit -- Here it is from a 2010 story in The Star:
    Toronto police salaries are spiralling upwards and will only continue to grow unless politicians have the courage to rein them in, says a former city budget chief.


    David Soknacki was reacting to the release of 2009 public sector salary disclosures that list 1,329 Toronto police uniform and civilian employees who last year earned more than $100,000 – a more than 30 per cent increase from the year before.


    In 2008, 1,006 employees of the Toronto police service earned more than $100,000.


    Those fattened pay cheques do not include lucrative "paid duty," where off-duty officers, paid by private companies, earn $60 to $70 an hour to perform such duties as directing traffic around construction.


    "Politically, it's toxic" to question whether the city can afford to pay policing costs, said Soknacki, who left office in 2006.


    "When money comes up for police, it's very, very difficult to push back.


    "It's difficult to say you're for public safety, you're for having a safe and vibrant city but, at the same time, we can do things better in public safety," he said.


    Now chairman of Downsview Park, the former city councillor is preparing a paper on policing, commissioned by the Toronto Board of Trade, which aims to set the agenda in the October mayoralty race.


    In 2004, just 250 on city police payroll earned more than $100,000. By 2006, the total nearly tripled to 708. By '08, 1,006 made the club. By '09, 1,329.
    Last edited by voxpopulicosmicum; 2013-Mar-28 at 19:14.


  2. #2

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    It is truly sickening to see all those cops on the Sunshine list and these figures don't even include all that $65 / hour "paid duty" work!

    Bill Blair's PR guy - Mark Pugash - attributed the increase to the effect of collective bargaining agreements but how can he explain the huge increases in his and Bill Blair's salary from one year to the next?

    Mark Pugash's salary INCREASED 17% in one year! from $163,149 last year to $190,198 this year! This is more than what Rob Ford makes!

    Bill Blair's salary INCREASED 12% in one year! from $328,000 last year to $367,000 this year! This is $100,000 more than Stephen Harper makes!

    How can these figures be justified? What makes Bill Blair worth $367,000 a year? This is way more than the heads of Police make in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles! Is it any wonder we don't have money for things like public transit expansion and road repairs when we are paying these outlandish salaries?
    Last edited by Peepers; 2013-Mar-28 at 21:46.

  3. #3

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    I'm not normally a big fan of "Sunshine Lists," as they don't consider factors like inflation, hours worked, years of service, etc into account, but this is pretty damn ridiculous. If Toronto's police force was a model for the nation to follow, I could see an argument for it. But it seems every week there is a new incident of cops using excessive force against suspects, seeming to think that real life is exactly like Batman or Walker: Texas Ranger.

    Also when the cops have to settle a lawsuit, does it come out of their funding or general tax revenue? If Ford wants to show some initiative on the fiscal responsibility front, freeze the funding they get for the next 5 years and any legal settlements has to come from that money. If they can't afford the lawsuits, then they'll have to cut their pay to make up the difference. Don't want your pay cut? Then act like an adult when you do your fucking job!

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Electrify View Post
    If Ford wants to show some initiative on the fiscal responsibility front, freeze the funding they get for the next 5 years and any legal settlements has to come from that money. If they can't afford the lawsuits, then they'll have to cut their pay to make up the difference. Don't want your pay cut? Then act like an adult when you do your fucking job!
    That's the one thing that might actually work. As it is, the trajectory of police governance in Toronto is frightening. From the bathhouse raids to Jane Doe to the Craig Bromell-led wildcat strike to the 52 division corruption scandal to "Operation True Blue" political intimidation to the Alan Heisey extortion/intimidation racket to the G20 fiasco(s) to a 1000% increase over the past 10 years in the number of cops making over $100k. Within the last couple of decades, we have seen two generations of the "McCormack" family being (1) the chief of police, (2) the head of the police union, and (3) indicted for running an extortion racket. Things are not getting better. No politician (or chief) has had the guts to stand up and bring these thugs to heel, and the thugs have learned that they have nothing to fear from their purported masters.

    Heck, even the Sun has acknowledged a problem. Heck, even Peepers has acknowledged a problem.

    In other news, vigilante community groups in Mexico have begun arresting their local corrupt law enforcers, taking their weapons and setting up road blocks to find those they missed on the first sweep. That's the kind of thing that happens when the rule of law breaks down. Hopefully somebody in Toronto yanks the cops' chain, rubs their noses in shit and beats them into submission in time for us to salvage our own justice system.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by voxpopulicosmicum View Post
    .

    Heck, even the Sun has acknowledged a problem. Heck, even Peepers has acknowledged a problem.
    .
    I have long been the most vocal critic of Police on this forum beginning with this thread: http://urbantoronto.ca/forum/showthr...cing-Attitudes

    And the Toronto SUN is the media outlet that has been most critical of the Toronto Police. This is especially true of the SUN News Network where Ezra Levant, Michael Coren and David Menzies are not afraid to take on our thuggish cops. Check out this encounter between Ezra Levant and an arrogant Toronto Police Staff Sgt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJyBQR1sJOM

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    This is one area where I agree with the right. Lots of these are exorbitant. They go way beyond a reasonable, livable salary. I'd like to see all jobs pay well, but the fact is that capital has private labour by the balls. People who are struggling to find quality jobs are getting taxed to support these government workers, many of whom would be lucky to get half as much in the private sector. It's not from jealousy, and it's not that these public sector employees are the cause of the problem, but this makes it worse on the average ham and egger duking it out in the private sector. Until we can start raising taxes substantially on the people with real money, one of the few things we can do in this state of flux is give these salaries a haircut to hopefully keep an extra few bucks in the pockets of the dwindling middle class.

    We have a weird situation where the left are making the problems (primarily) caused by the right worse. Using broad definitions of left/right here.
    Last edited by Lansdude; 2013-Mar-29 at 04:16.

  7. #7
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    Folks, we need to remember that the $100K threshold was set years ago. $100K is not a ton of money today. I'm a marketing manager for a consumer products firm and with bonus I'd be on the list if it was a crown corp, and I'm not feeling much sunshine... not clouds either I'll admit, but I'd like to move the bar to $200K for gov't income tracking.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Beez View Post
    Folks, we need to remember that the $100K threshold was set years ago. $100K is not a ton of money today. I'm a marketing manager for a consumer products firm and with bonus I'd be on the list if it was a crown corp, and I'm not feeling much sunshine... not clouds either I'll admit, but I'd like to move the bar to $200K for gov't income tracking.
    I do not really need to know the names, but I think it would be worthwhile to list the job title and salary for those between $200k and $100k (or even lower). Whether $200k or $150k is the correct number can be debated.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Beez View Post
    Folks, we need to remember that the $100K threshold was set years ago. $100K is not a ton of money today. I'm a marketing manager for a consumer products firm and with bonus I'd be on the list if it was a crown corp, and I'm not feeling much sunshine... not clouds either I'll admit, but I'd like to move the bar to $200K for gov't income tracking.
    You'd have more of a point if these weren't police constables being paid $100,000 a year (instead like Sergeants, Detectives, and higher ups), but there are regular police constables making this (and not just in Toronto either). In the case of Toronto its not just a few. It looks to be pages worth. I get that officers get paid for overtime, but at some point you have to wonder at what point do the benefits of paying for overtime get outweighed by the possibility of hiring other officers. Thanks to (what I assume is) overtime there are constables in Toronto making more than police detectives (the highest constable I've seen so far was one making $126,000/year as a just a police constable - he was not even a "plaincloths constable" either in case that makes any difference). (Page 11 of list)
    Last edited by historydude2012; 2013-Mar-29 at 11:24.

  10. #10

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    Ever get the suspicion that if the president of a hospital stayed home for a month or two no one who really mattered would notice.

    How could one man be so valuable to a non competitive enterprise like all government agencies that he commands these ridiculous pay cheques? If he is worth more to a private enterprise why isn't he there?
    Your friendly neighborhood iconoclast.

  11. #11

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    I agree with the argument that too many police officers are taking home too much pay but I see this is a general decade long run where public sector wages have de-coupled from the general economy. To me large sectors of the public workforce like teachers, nurses, police and other public sector workers have seen wage gains that are 20-25% out of line. This is to say nothing of pensions and benefits. Some public sector works receive pension benefits that a non-public sector individual would have to save millions of dollars by retirement age to match.

    To be honest I don't think there is anything we can do about it. You would have to freeze public sector wages for at least a decade for starters. From a personal financial perspective I think every family should make sure that at least one of the working adults in the family is a public sector worker. I'm serious about this. Immigrant families should seriously reconsider there ideas about what fields of study to push their children into. Forget about being an engineer, scientist or accountant, go into law enforcement or teaching, they are more lucrative and stable especially when you account for benefits and pensions. That is assuming you can get a job because existing government workers won't vacate these positions without having to rip them out of their hands.
    Last edited by TrickyRicky; 2013-Mar-29 at 12:40.

  12. #12
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    I do not mind some of the proposed revenue tools for transit but I cannot trust the government to not funnel some of that money to cover items such as these high salaries.

  13. #13
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    If you like having a government that isn't corrupt and incompetent you have to put up with paying high wages to public employees.

    I agree that we are overpaying police officers somewhat, but that is not the reason why we can't afford other things. The real reasons why we are not building infrastructure are political in nature.
    www.Front65.com - Urban Ecology

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Beez View Post
    Folks, we need to remember that the $100K threshold was set years ago. $100K is not a ton of money today. I'm a marketing manager for a consumer products firm and with bonus I'd be on the list if it was a crown corp, and I'm not feeling much sunshine... not clouds either I'll admit, but I'd like to move the bar to $200K for gov't income tracking.
    I think that most people realize that with inflation you will naturally get a growth in the size of this list. I don't know why all the headlines focused on "double digit" growth in the size of the list since it is irrelevant. Instead they should focus on the double-digit pay increases to already obscene salaries such as the 12% increase that Bill Blair gave himself and the 19% he gave his PR guy! I cited these facts above and yet not one media outlet is willing to touch this story?

    $100K insn't what it used to be when the Sunshine list was established but it is still a lot of money and I think the threshold should be kept at this level.

    Quote Originally Posted by spider View Post
    Ever get the suspicion that if the president of a hospital stayed home for a month or two no one who really mattered would notice.

    How could one man be so valuable to a non competitive enterprise like all government agencies that he commands these ridiculous pay cheques? If he is worth more to a private enterprise why isn't he there?
    These always stand out for me as the most obscene examples. What does a hospital CEO do to be worth $700,000 a year? Why do we even need the position of "CEO" at each hospital site? If I were Premier I would eliminate all the CEO positions and replace them with a "Chief Administrator" and pay them a fraction of that amount. In addition to CEO the big hospitals also have Chief Operating Officers. No wonder the province has to ration health care when they have organizations that are so top heavy.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by spider View Post
    Ever get the suspicion that if the president of a hospital stayed home for a month or two no one who really mattered would notice?
    In the case of Jacko, I'd imagine they were glad when he stayed home, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Jakobek

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