MORRISBURG – The province’s annual Sunshine List was released March 24 and locally it saw a small reduction in the number of employees reported for the Municipality of South Dundas.
For 2022, three members of the South Dundas administration team were on the List, a decrease by one employee from 2021. Chief Administrative Officer Shannon Geraghty led the list, earning $144,188.30 salary plus taxable benefits. This is a one per cent increase over 2021. Supervisor of Water and Waste Water Denis Villeneuve earned $103,848.31, and acting-treasurer Lachlan McDonald earned $103,106.10.
Sunshine around the region
Geraghty is the second-lowest paid CAO of the six lower-tier municipalities in SDG Counties. Leading the group is South Glengarry CAO Tim Mills ($155K), South Stormont CAO Debi Lucasswitzer ($149.7K), North Glengarry CAO/Clerk Sarah Huskinson ($147.9K) and North Dundas CAO Angela Rutley ($146K). North Stormont CAO Craig Calder was paid $129.8K in 2022.
South Stormont led the six municipalities with the highest number of employees on the List with seven totalling $792.9K in salary. North Glengarry had six employees totalling $698.8K in salary, North Dundas had five employees totalling $581.2K, South Glengarry had four employees earning $504.1K in salary, South Dundas three, totalling $351.1K, and North Stormont had two employees earning $238.6K.
Eight employees at the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry earned a combined $1.09M in salary, plus benefits. Leading the group is now-retired CAO Tim Simpson, who received $189,630.53 in 2022.
The City of Cornwall had 101 employees on the Sunshine List last year, totalling $12.4M in salary, plus benefits. Cornwall’s list includes city administration, members of the fire department, Cornwall-SDG Paramedic Services, and Glen Stor Dun Lodge employees. Then-CAO Maureen Adams earned $228,571.90 plus benefits in 2022. Adams left the city at the end of 2022 to become SDG Counties’ new CAO.
In addition to the 101 city employees, 78 employees with the Cornwall Police Service were on the List in 2022. More than $9.77M in salary was reported for the CPS. Chief of Police Shawna Spowart received a salary of $202,587.20 plus benefits.
Health Care tallies
Health care executives were among the highest paid public service employees in the region this year. Eastern Ontario Health Unit medical officer of health and CEO Dr. Paul Roumeliotis was the top-earner again this year, earning $415,720.66 plus benefits in 2022. Cornwall Community Hospital CEO Jeanette Despatie received $314,835.42 last year, and Winchester District Memorial Hospital CEO Cholly Boland received $288,175.72.
Of the 170 employees from the CCH on the Sunshine List, 113 were nurses, many who received overtime pay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wages reported for the Sunshine List totalled $20.3M for the hospital.
WDMH staff accounted for 38 people on the List, totalling $4.48M in salary for 2022. Of those 38, 26 were nurses.
The EOHU had 30 employees total on the list, who received a combined $3.8M in salary plus benefits.
SLPC decreases to 10 people
Local crown agency, the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, had 10 employees on this year’s Sunshine List, one less than in 2021. General Manager and CEO Hollee Kew received $194,935.63 in salary plus taxable benefits as head of the commission. SLPC salaries on the List totalled $1.29M for 2022.
Education employees on List
One of the largest increases in Sunshine List reporting this year is in the education sector. Labour agreements between the province’s four teachers unions resulted in many teachers’ salaries increasing past the $100,000 threshold for Sunshine List reporting.
Twenty-six per cent of the Upper Canada District School Board’s 4,200 employees are on this year’s Sunshine List.
Director of Education Ron Ferguson is the top earner at the board with a salary of $229,949.98 plus benefits. Eight superintendents earn between $165K and $190K, totalling $1.44M in salary.
Another 19 non-teaching administrative positions within the board office earned a combined $2.1m in salary.
The board’s 89 principals and 50 vice-principals cost $17.48M. While the board has 78 schools, some of the principal and vice-principal positions are located outside of schools for administrative purposes.
Elementary and secondary school teachers with the UCDSB make up most of the employees on the List this year. A total of $96.5M in salary was paid to teachers.
At the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario, 41 per cent of that board’s employees made the Sunshine List for 2022.
The board had an administrative change resulting in two Directors of Education and an Associate Director on the list. Outgoing director John Cameron earned $160K plus benefits, while incoming director Laurie Corrigan earned $184K plus benefits. Associate director Bonnie Norton earned $225K plus benefits.
The CDSBEO’s six superintendents had salary ranging from $160.5K to $172.6K, resulting in $992.5 in compensation paid in 2022. There were 11 people in non-teaching administration positions, totalling $1.49M in salary paid, along with 15 consultants paid $1.66M in 2022. Forty-seven principals across the board’s 42 schools earned $5.9M combined. The CDSBEO has 24 vice-principals which earned a total of $2.67M in salary, plus benefits. Teachers accounted for 485 spots on the Sunshine List, earning $49.95M in salary.
The region’s French-Catholic school board, the Conseil Scolaire De District Catholique De L’est Ontarien, had 541 employees on the List in 2022.
The highest-paid employee is director of education Eugénie Congi at $220,651.72 plus benefits. Director Lyne Racine was paid $219,508.94 plus benefits, and associate director Jolanta Hausner was paid $112,640.87 plus benefits.
The CSDCEO’s six superintendents earned $1M and the 24 non-teaching administrative staff earned a total of $2.9M. Twenty-five education consultants were employed at a cost of $2.74M. There were 31 principals employed across the board’s 32 elementary and secondary schools totalling $4M in salary. Another 19 vice-principals were on the List, costing $2.2M. As with other school boards, teachers made up the bulk of the Sunshine List entries. In 2022 there were 433 teachers at the CSDCEO on the List, totalling $44.86M in salary.
The Conseil Des Écoles Publiques De L’est De L’ontario, the French-Public school board in the region, saw just over 18 per cent of the board’s 3,000 employees on the Sunshine List. Former Director of Education Edith Dumont topped that board’s salary list, earning $268,090.37 in 2022. Current director of education Sylvie Tremblay earned $222,792.61 plus benefits. The board’s seven superintendents, whose salaries ranged from $160K to $174K, earned a combined $1.17M. The 28 non-teaching administration positions at the board earned a combined $3.66M in compensation. The board employed 59 principals in schools and the board office for a combined $7.29M in salary, and 37 vice-principals at a cost of $4.29M. Teachers accounted for four-fifths of the Sunshine List for the CEPEO. In 2022, 408 teachers earned a combined $42.28 in salary plus benefits.
How elected officials fared
Elected provincial politicians made the annual list, with a couple of notable local exceptions. Both retired Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry member of provincial Parliament Jim McDonell and his successor Nolan Quinn missed the list for 2022. Quinn was elected the area’s MPP in June 2022. An MPP earns a base salary of $116,550 plus taxable benefits of $168.24. MPP base salaries have been frozen at the same rate since 2008, the last year Ontario posted a budget surplus.
Both McDonell and now Quinn are parliamentary assistants for cabinet ministers, meaning they earn an additional $17K on top of their base salary. Most of the Progressive Conservative caucus serve as PAs for cabinet ministers.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford earned $208,974 in 2022, finance minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, and minister of municipal affairs and housing Steve Clark each earned $165,851.04 as cabinet ministers.
Top earners in Ontario
Three of the province’s top-five employees on the Sunshine List are employed by Ontario Power Generation. President and CEO Kenneth Hartwick earned $1.73M, chief strategy officer Dominique Miniere earned $1.69M, and chief projects officer earned Michael Martelli earned $968.7K. Rounding out the top-five are Metrolinx president and CEO Phil Verster ($856.6K), and University Health Network president and CEO Kevin Smith ($845K).
The Sunshine List was enacted through legislation passed by then-premier Mike Harris in 1995. The goal was to publicize the salary and benefits of public service employees who earn over $100,000 per year.
In 1996, the first reporting year, 4,250 employees made the list with over $526.5 million in salary.
The government has never adjusted its $100,000 benchmark against the rate of inflation or by any other means. According to the Bank of Canada, $100,000 in 1996 is equal to $175,368.90 in 2023, an increase of 75.37 per cent. In comparison, according to the BoC, a $100,000 salary in 2023 is equal to that of $57,022.66 in 1996.