Hospital CEO salaries rise while frontline health care workers struggle to make ends meet

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(March 28, 2013 Richmond Hill, ON) – Today’s Sunshine List reveals that many of the CEOs of Ontario’s hospitals continue to receive generous wage increases while salaries for frontline healthcare workers remain frozen.

“It’s completely unacceptable that rich CEOs and administrators paid from the public purse should see their salaries increase while many on the frontlines of health care have had their $12 to $14 an hour wages frozen,” said Sharleen Stewart, President of SEIU Healthcare, which represents more than 50,000 healthcare workers in Ontario.

“To fix the healthcare system in Ontario we need to start making investments on the frontline, not the bottom line, by putting a hard cap on the salaries of healthcare CEOs who have been pocketing millions, and close loopholes so that the wealthiest 1% pay their fair share toward public healthcare,” continued Stewart.

The Sunshine List reveals the tremendous amount of money being spent on administration in the healthcare sector, which, if put into frontline services, would result in better care for patients. In fact, of every public dollar invested in homecare, only 35 cents goes to actual care.

In one of the most outrageous findings, the list reveals that Kevin Mercer, former CEO of the Waterloo Wellington Community Care Access Centre, collected a whopping half-million dollar pay package in 2012 despite being terminated after a government-commissioned report found “dysfunctional” management practices that led to long waiting lists and poor use of funds.

“With more than 6,000 people on waiting lists for homecare, families want to hear care will be there when they need it, not that CEOs have made off with the loot,” said Stewart. 
Meanwhile, hospitals continue to cut their budgets on government orders but still pay exorbitant salaries to their CEOs and senior managers.

“It’s unconscionable that under budget cuts hospitals eliminate beds and lay off the front-line staff who deliver care to patients, while at the same time continuing to pay hospital CEOs and senior administrators hundreds of thousands of dollars,” concluded Stewart.

Selected highlights of the 2012 Sunshine List of wages / benefits:

  • $753,992 / $74,560 Robert S. Bell, President & CEO of the University Health Network, Toronto.
  • $737,003 combined – William Reichman, President & CEO Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, Toronto.
  • $714,999 / $45,627 Barry McLellan, President & CEO Sunnybrook Health Science Centre (A 2% increase in salary from $703,311 and nine fold increase in benefits from $5,184) Mr. McLellan’s benefits alone are the equivalent of the annual salary of a full-time Registered Practical Nurse working 35 hours a week for 52 weeks.
  • 10 Vice Presidents at Sunnybrook collected $3,588,622 in total compensation.
  • $690,201 combined - Joseph Mapa, President & CEO Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto.
  • $453,180 – Gillian Kernaghan, President & Chief Executive Officer, St. Joseph’s Health Care, London. (A 6% increase in base salary from $428,700)
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