Provincial Sunshine List hard for a taxi driver to swallow
The Province of Ontario on March 28, 2018, released the Sunshine List for 2017. In case you are unaware of what this is, it is the list of government employees throughout Ontario that earn in excess of $100,000 dollars per year. Keep in mind, this list does not include the salaries and/or benefits of elected officials, so the amounts I am about to report on, would be several billions of dollars more if their salaries and benefits were coupled with the employees.
Add in the salaries and benefits of employees making under the $100,000 plateau of the Sunshine List, I would estimate the total would probably be well in access of $30 to $40 billion dollars.
Throughout the entire Province of Ontario, there are 131,712 employees earning in excess of $100,000 per year, which totals $16,812,900,448 in incomes. As we are most interested in the City of Toronto, let’s break down their numbers that meet the Sunshine List’s criteria.
City of Toronto
a) Number of people earning more than $100,000 annually: 5,782.
b) The percentage change in the number of employees more than $100,000 has increased by 33.5 percent from 4,400 in 2016 to 5,782 in 2017.
c) Their average salary is: $120,027.
d) Total salary paid: $704,796,729.
e) Percentage change in salary paid: Increased by 34.6percent.
f) Total benefits paid: $9,088,128.
g) Average raise in pay: 5.7percent
Since I am sure the Toronto taxi industry members would
like to know some of the salaries of the Municipal Licensing and Standards employees and a few of the other City Hall employees who touch our industry, here is a small sample of some of those salaries and benefits.
1. Tracey Cook - Executive Director MLS:
Salary: $228,139, Benefits: $4,978.98,
Raise: 3.7 percent.
2. Annalisa Fava-Mignardi - Director Bus. Licensing & Regulatory Services: Salary: $174,112, Benefits: $2,268.60, Raise: 5.8 percent.
3. Ms. Marcia Stoltz Manager - Licensing Services:
Salary: $102,778, Benefits: $1,714.81
4. Mr. Carleton Grant – Director Policy and Strategic Support: Salary: $162,837, Benefits: $1,179.16, Raise: 5.7 percent.
5. Ms. Vanessa Fletcher – Acting Manager Policy and Planning Services Salary: $125,452, Benefits: $829.02, Raise: 15.5 percent
6. Mr. Mark Sraga – Director Investigative Services: Salary: $178,772, Benefits: $1,270.29.
7. Mr. Ian Redfearn – Supervisor MLS Salary: $115.961, Benefits: $823.63, Raise: 12.3 percent
8. Ms. Alice Xu – Manager Licensing and Administrative Services: Salary: $101,291, Benefits: $737.88.
9. Mr. Scott Sullivan – District Manager: Salary: $138,763, Benefits: $1,855.32, Raise: 3.2 percent.
The Toronto taxi industry has not had a meter increase in several years and in fact some of the taxi brokerage owners, who were not affected by this, convinced the City a couple of years ago to reduce the taxi meter drop price by $1.00 per trip, with the ridiculous idea this would make us more competitive with Private Transportation Companies (PTC’s) like Uber Technology. Other than putting our drivers in a worse financial position, the idea proved to be rather ineffective and left no hardship on PTC drivers.
This is why it is galling to review the Sunshine List as we can obviously see by this small sample that some city hall employees in 2017 received salary increases from 3.2 percent to 15.5 percent while we have not seen an increase in years and our expenses increase every year. Couple this travesty with the ill-thought-out government idea of a shared economy, which led to the unfettered vehicle access of PTC companies, vehicles that were totally unnecessary, it has left us at the brink of financial disaster.
Well my fellow members, so much for democracy and welcome to autocratic rule. You continually sit back and talk the talk, but don’t do anything to try to alleviate the situation. You live in a dream world where you believe that political and bureaucratic resolutions are on the horizon instead of looking back at the past six decades that have led us to this point.
Your window of opportunity for a civil suit is closing rapidly as well and again you sit back and don’t do anything to help yourself. Individually there is little that anyone can do, but collectively there is a great deal that could be done, but all you do collectively is to sit back and watch your industry, livelihood and personal and family financial futures disappear before your eyes. If we fail to act in our own interest, that is exactly what is going to happen.
Gerald H. Manley