With spring comes the Sunshine List with the top wage earners in Chatham-Kent.
The Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, enacted in 1996, requires all employees paid by the public purse making over $100,000 to be disclosed each year by the end of March.
Topping the list again this year for the Municipality of Chatham-Kent is Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Colby at $227,526 with over $900 in taxable benefits. Next highest wage earner is Don Shropshire, municipal CAO, at $219,651 with $10,564 in taxable benefits, followed by Police Chief Gary Conn at $212,796 with $12,845 in taxable benefits, and Deputy Chief Jeff Littlewood earning $194,112 with $12,964 in taxable benefits.
According to Conn, there are several factors influencing the salaries of officers with the Chatham-Kent Police Service – about half of whom are on the Sunshine List. Those include overtime, with police providing security at special events which has gone up and a large amount of wind turbine escorts.
Experience pay is also a factor, the chief said, with officers getting a three per cent pay hike over a first-class constable pay after 10 years, six per cent after 15 years and nine per cent after 20 years.
“Right now there are four factors that can drive up an officer’s salary which explain how a first class constable can make more than the base salary of say $95,000. You have to take these other factors into consideration,” Conn explained. “Because people aren’t aware of these other factors, it can add consternation to what they are thinking.”
In Ontario, Conn said he gets a list two times a year of municipalities with a population of over 100,000. That’s approximately 80 police services in all of Canada with police over 100,000.
“It looks at the wages of first class constables, and we rank about 40th in all of Canada, so we are about the middle of the pack,” Chief Conn noted. “Having said that, we are all in about the same ball park.”
Both the former Fire Paramedic Chief Ken Steubing and new Chief Bob Crawford are on the list at $155,699 and $170,891 respectively. Crawford slid into the position from his spot as general manager of community development.
The list of Chatham-Kent employees earning more than $100,000 increased to 228 in 2017. In 2016, the number of employees earning $100,000 or more was 184.
The 2017 list includes 126 members of the Chatham-Kent Police Service and 43 members of the Chatham-Kent Fire and Emergency Services.
At St. Clair College, President Patricia France tops the list, earning $300,160 with less than $500 in taxable benefits. At the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, CEO Lori Marshall earns $233,481. At Chatham-Kent Children’s Services, 20 employees made the list this year, with executive director Stephen Doig at the top of the list earning $166,327.
For all complete list of all the Sunshine List employees in Chatham-Kent, go to ontario.ca and search under Public Sector Salary Disclosure 2017.