Little change in number of London police officers on sunshine list
While the number of firefighters earning more than $100,000 doubled in 2013, the number of police officers on the list has remained consistent.
The city revealed Wednesday that 239 members of the London Professional Fire Fighters Association (LPFFA) are on the sunshine list for 2013, up from 105 in 2012.
At at meeting of the Police Services Board on Thursday it was revealed that 192 officers made over $100,000 last year. That's compared to 191 in 2012.
A report to the Corporate Services Committee explains that a large part of the reason for the increase in the number of firefighters on the list is an interim salary increase awarded as part of ongoing contract arbitration.
The report continues "The LPFFA is still requesting further salary increases for 2011, 2012 and 2013 and therefore, the amounts reflected in the filing with the Province may not reflect 'final' 2013 salaries for this employee group."
But LPFFA President John Hassan says it's a reflection of short-staffing, requiring more overtime, and an issue with the list itself.
"I think the sunshine list, in order to [be a] true portrayal of what's going on in the province, needs to be factored in for inflation. It needs to be up around $139,000."
But the benchmark is the same for all taxpayer-supported employees and the numbers, based on percentages, are compelling.
Last year 192 of 603 police officers made the list - that's about 31 per cent, but for fire it was 239 of 419 or about 57 per cent.
And police officials make the point that 27 constables only made the list because of paid duty work, which doesn't cost taxpayers a dime.
London police Chief Brad Duncan says "The paid duties really are third parties paying. They hire the police officers off-duty to do a service. So that could be construction sites, traffic control, the entertainment district, for example, on busy Friday and Saturday nights. So those dollars are not paid for by the taxpayer."
Still, heading into new contract talks Hassan isn't backing down from demands that his members should be getting paid more based on the tradition of patterning fire contracts after police increases.
"London police freely negotiated the raises they got, and we're talking about the same economic times for firefighters. Nothing, in my mind, has changed. Let's talk about '08, '09 and '10. That's when the recession really hit and the city freely negotiated police and fire wage parity and we took a backseat on benefits. So we have been doing our part."
Duncan meanwhile continues to stress the need to get all public sector salaries under control, "Going forward, I'm not sure we can guarantee, you know, that in the next budget cycle that there won't be any impacts if we don't look at limiting the impacts in the costs associated with personnel."
Also on the list of city employees earning more than $100,000:
- 107 management employees.
- one employee from Tourism London
- one employee from the London Convention Centre
- eight employees who are members of CUPE Local 107
According to the city, of the eight who are members of the London Civic Employees Union Local 107, seven received retroactive lump sum payments in 2013 as a result of an arbitration award or job evaluation adjustment.
The number of London Transit Commision and London Library employees with salaries over $100,000 has not yet been released.
The full list is expected on April 1st.