To Serve and Collect

See the story in the Toronto Star

The  release of the 2009 Public Sector Salary disclosures, shows the list of 1,329 Toronto police uniform and civilian employees, (380 constables) who last year earned more than $100,000 – a more than 30 per cent increase from the year before. The Public Sector Salary disclosure, only discloses monies paid from the public purse and does not include “paid duty” that goes directly into police officer’s pockets from private and sometimes public sources. See Paid Duty Request Form with all payment details and fee schedules. These “paid duty” opportunities are paid in cash and the police officers accepting the “paid duty” are not required to provide their temporary employers (those paying for the “paid duty”) with their social insurance numbers. Salaries and benefits for 5,588 uniform and 2,000 civilian employees represent 90% of the police operating budget, which is closing in on $900 million a year (soon to be a billion dollars a year).

The Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, 1996 (the act) makes Ontario’s public sector more open and accountable to taxpayers. The act requires organizations that receive public funding from the Province of Ontario to disclose annually the names, positions, salaries and total taxable benefits of employees paid $100,000 or more in a calendar year.

The act applies to organizations such as the Government of Ontario, Crown Agencies, Municipalities, Hospitals, Boards of Public Health, School Boards, Universities, Colleges, Hydro One, Ontario Power Generation, and other public sector employers who receive a significant level of funding from the provincial government.

The main requirement for the organizations covered by the act is to make their disclosure or if applicable to make their statement of no employee salaries to disclose available to the public by March 31. Organizations covered by the act are also required to send their disclosure or statement to their funding ministry or ministries by the fifth business day of March.

The highest paid Toronto police officer in 2009, as would be expected, is Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair at $309,491.00. The highest paid police constable, is Michael B. Thompson, a breathalyzer technician at $168,928.00.  The Toronto Police $ervices Board said that of the 1,329 employees who earned more than $100,000.00 in 2009, the Board said 900 include staff, whose base pay was under the threshold.  The gap, however, between pay scales and the $100,000.00 threshold has narrowed, since the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, 1996 was passed in 1996. The current top rate, before any overtime or premiums for court for a plainclothes constable is $92,970.00, while sergeants peak out at $98,387.00. Toronto Police Services Board Chairman Alok Mukherjee said there have been discussions of raising the $100,000.00 benchmark to $130,000.00, to account for rising wages. Mr. Alok Mukherjee is satisfied that the service is managed well and there was little that concerned himself or other Board members (this excerpt came from the 24H Toronto- e-edition – Fri. March 26 to Sunday March 28, 2010 – Page 5)

A first-class constable’s annual wage is $87,500.00. Pursuant to the Toronto Police Union’s Collective Agreement with the City of Toronto, most of the overtime which has caused an officer’s yearly wage to exceed the $100,000 mark is due to the officer’s presence in court, mainly to deal with traffic tickets that he/she issued. When an officer issues a ticket, he or she is then required to be in court to testify as to the reasons why that ticket was issued to a specific motorist. This is the way that it works:

  • If a police officer shows up to a provincial court on a day off – he or she will receive a minimum of four (4)  hours overtime, paid at time and a half of their wage – even if the matters that were scheduled were all adjourned or settled before hand, or;
  • If that same police officer is scheduled for a shift and shows up to court before their scheduled shift commences, he or she will be compensated with three (3) hours of pay at time and a half of their wage.
  • With all forms of crime  down and all forms of traffic tickets up, you would think that the City of Toronto would attempt to find ways of dealing with the matter of police in the courts, dealing with traffic tickets that they generated, in a more efficient way; with cost cutting measures carefully looked at.

    Numeous others that have made the 2009 Public Sector Salary Disclosure (that have made $100,000.00 or more) are now being referred to as having made the Sunshine List. See various stories from the Toronto Star (April 2, 2010, April 1, 2010, April 1, 2010, April 1, 2010,March 31, 2010,March 31, 2010,March 31, 2010,March 31, 2010,March 30, 2010,March 27, 2010,March 21, 2010 ).

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