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4,000 at OPG got over $100Gs

Energy Minister vows to crack down

Toronto Sun - April 7, 2004
by Alan Findlay and Antonella Artuso


More than one in three of Ontario Power Generation's 10,850 full-time workers earned a six-figure salary last year, Sun Media has learned. A source revealed that approximately 4,000 people on the publicly owned company's payroll will be named on a list of employees earning more than $100,000. At a bare minimum, the total payroll for those 4,000 workers tops $400 million.

The company posted a $491-million loss last year.

OPG vice-president Chuck Pautler said the company is still finalizing its list and could not confirm a number.

He said the company consists of highly trained technical workers who worked long hours last year following the summer blackout and major generation projects.

"It was a year when there was unusual work activities completed, which has had an impact on overtime requirements," he said.


SUNSHINE LAW

The Conservative government broke up Ontario Hydro into OPG, Hydro One and three smaller subsidiaries and excluded them from the so-called Sunshine Law. Legislation returning those salaries to public view is expected this spring.

Hydro One will also be disclosing how many of its 5,000 employees earned upwards of $100,000 once that bill becomes law.

The payroll report is the latest shocking revelation from the OPG, including last week's admission that it paid four American nuclear experts a total of $39.5 million for contracts mainly from 1997 to 2000.

Energy Minister Dwight Duncan couldn't comment on specific salary numbers, but vowed to fix things at OPG.

NDP MPP Peter Kormos called the salaries robbery at pen-point. "These are atrocious rip-off salaries that are unconscionable, especially when consumers of electricity -- senior citizens, young families -- across Ontario are getting whacked with new and higher electricity increases," he said.

Canadian Taxpayers Federation Ontario director Tasha Kheiriddin said when only 3% of Ontarians receive $100,000 a year or more, it's outrageous that a public corporation that's losing money, would see a third of its employees receive this kind of pay.




PAY SLIPS

- Approximate number of Ontario Power Generation employees paid $100,000 or more in 2003: 4,000

- OPG employees in 2003: 10,850

- Number of Ontario Hydro employees paid $100Gs-plus in 1998: 1,412

- Number of Ontario Hydro employees in 1998: approximately 19,000

- Number of Ontario Hydro employees paid $100Gs-plus in 1997: 779

- Total of all other Ontario public sector workers making $100Gs-plus in 1997: 3,603

- Total of all other Ontario public sector workers making $100Gs-plus in 2003 (not including Hydro One): 14,926


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