Like the spring weather, the annual sunshine list came out a little early this year.
The so-called “sunshine list” includes disclosure of the compensation paid to public sector workers who earn more than $100,000 per year.
It’s an annual ritual of paddling the public sector for daring to make a reasonable living.
Nor does the sunshine list measure all the big earners who do public sector work.
That’s because increasingly this work is being delivered by the private sector.
Private for-profit companies that do public sector work do not report on the list.
Ornge executives used a series of private for-profit entities to try to evade disclosure in this manner.
You won’t find any executive salaries for most of the home care agencies that do public work. Nor will you find on the list the top executives at the large for-profit nursing home chains. How about the private labs that get almost $700 million paid out from OHIP for medical testing? You won’t find them there either.
As we discovered with the recent hospital disclosures in January, the sunshine list does not tell us if the executive worked all year, or whether they worked for six months. It doesn’t tell us if the money they received is severance from dismissal without cause. It doesn’t necessarily reflect all the perks or tell us whether there are no perks. It doesn’t tell us how much overtime the 7,905 hospital workers performed to make the list.
Yes, there are more people on the sunshine list. If it had been adjusted for inflation, many would fall off it if they earned less than $138,364.
How does the percentage of public sector workers earning more than $100,000 annually compare to the private sector?
The private sector maintained a higher percentage of workers earning more than $100,000 up until the recession, when the same percentage of public and private sector workers fit this category in 2008. This had more to do with the flat lining of private sector wages between 2007-08. After the 1992 recession private sector wages climbed much faster than in the public sector. Public-private wage settlements already indicate we are likely to repeat this pattern.
Where there will be a significant difference is in the big earners. The highest earning hospital CEO this year was departing London Health Sciences chief Cliff Nordal, who was paid $1.4 million due to a $700,00 severance package.
The Ontario Hospital Association did a comparison of private and public executive salaries last year. All of their hospital executives came in below the 25th percentile.
Let’s not forget that paddle the CEO day comes January 2nd, when the top 100 private sector CEOs overtake the annual earnings of the average Canadian worker.
The Sunshine lists do provide a level of transparency. But they fall far short of telling us the whole story.
To check out this year’s sunshine list, click here.