See highlights on Hamilton’s salary disclosure list

Hamilton’s highest public sector salary topped $800,000 for the first time.

McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) paid a combined salary and taxable benefits of $802,651 in 2021 to one of Canada’s foremost researchers, Dr. Salim Yusuf, who is director of the Institute. world-renowned population health research.

That puts Yusuf in Ontario’s top 10, although he’s far from the highest. The top four all run Ontario Power Generation and earn over $1 million.

Yusuf has been the highest earner in Hamilton for five consecutive years, earning $784,674 in 2020 and $764,573 when he topped the list in 2017.

Ontario’s so-called Sunshine List of public sector salaries of $100,000 or more was released on March 25.

School board salaries on the rise

One of the highlights was the six-figure salary increase in Hamilton’s public and Catholic school boards. This was consistent with the province’s claims that the Sunshine List grew overall, primarily due to teachers crossing the $100,000 mark.

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board saw its roster grow to 1,539 last year from 1,024 in 2020, an increase of 50%.

The increase was even higher at the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board, where the list rose from 397 to 1,245, an increase of almost 214%.

This is the second year in a row that there have been major salary increases in the school boards.

Hamilton’s highest-paid teacher is Catholic secondary and earned $149,356 in 2021. The highest-paid primary teacher was also on the Catholic board, earning $140,278. At the public board, the highest paid teacher was in continuing education and earned $131,462.

Despite the increase in numbers, school boards are nowhere near the top of the list in Hamilton. Their highest earner was Manny Figueiredo, a former director of education at the public board, who earned $246,561.

To compare, Hamilton’s top 10 started at $451,559 and went up from there.

Pandemic wage increases

The city has Hamilton’s highest six-figure salary tally at 2,105, up from 2,041 in 2020.

The top three earners have been at the forefront of handling the COVID-19 pandemic. They also saw their salaries increase significantly from 2019 – before the pandemic – to 2021.

Hamilton’s medical officer of health, Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, topped the city’s list with $375,120 in salary and taxable benefits last year, up from $292,371 in 2019, before the pandemic.

Next is an Associate Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Bart Harvey, who earned $302,652 in 2021 from $211,701 pre-pandemic.

Rounding out the top three, another associate medical officer, Dr. Ninh Tran, earned $296,051 last year, up from $232,790 in 2019.

A new face in the top 10

McMaster University had 1,441 six-figure salaries on the list in 2021, up from 1,424 the previous year.

At the top was Claudia Emerson, director of the ethics and innovation policy program, earning $623,459 – the fourth highest in the city.

Emerson “is a globally recognized ethicist who advises at the highest levels, including for the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the United Nations,” McMaster University said in a statement.

His earnings were $285,337 in 2020, a jump of 118%.

McMaster said his 2021 salary included “a retroactive salary adjustment based on his external funding as well as a significant portion of salary arrears.”

Another who stands out every year is the president of Mohawk College, who earns more than his counterpart at McMaster University. Ron McKerlie earned $413,522 serving as president of the college and its fundraising foundation while David Farrar earned $399,803.

Mohawk College was the rare exception in a shrinking list in 2021 – it fell to 373 from 374.

Police charged with crimes

In Ontario, suspended officers continue to collect their paycheck according to law, unless they are in jail.

In Hamilton, Const. Michael LaCombe has been suspended after being charged in October with two counts of sexual assault related to alleged incidents 11 years ago. He earned $114,992 in 2021.

const. Ian Milburn has been performing administrative duties since May 2021, when he was charged with assault. He was sentenced to 18 months probation in January after pleading guilty. He earned $106,197 last year.

const. Ryan Cole was also appointed to administrative duties in April 2021 after being charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm in connection with an alleged service incident in November 2020. He earned $106,030 in 2021.

Hamilton’s Highest Paid

Hamilton has 17 public sector salaries of $400,000 or more — seven at HHS, six at McMaster, three at St. Joseph’s Healthcare and one at Mohawk College.

That’s an increase of two from 2019 with the two additions to McMaster.

All but three of the top earners are in health care. Five of the highest earners are women – two at HHS, two at St. Joseph’s and one at McMaster.

Overall, HHS had 1,490 on its list, down from 1,390 in 2019. St. Joseph’s had 693 from 639 the previous year.

— With files from the Toronto Star