Peggy Sattler MPP, London West

Government of Ontario

My question on Executive compensation in the University Sector

Published on May 3, 2018

Queen’s Park, May 2nd 2018 – “My question is to the Premier. For 15 years, this Liberal government has known about excessive executive salaries in the broader public sector but has done almost nothing to rein in executive compensation.

This week, Londoners learned about proposed salary increases for Western University senior administrators. The Liberals have allowed boards of governors the freedom to select their own comparators to determine salaries, without any oversight to ensure that the comparators are valid. This can lead to significant salary increases far beyond what is reasonable or appropriate.

Similar concerns have already been raised about Nipissing University, and we expect to hear more as university compensation frameworks are posted across the province.

Speaker, why has this Liberal government refused to put meaningful controls in place to rein in executive compensation in the university sector?

What is even more troubling is that decisions about executive salary increases are being made after a decade of Liberal underfunding of the post-secondary sector. For years, Ontario has had the highest university tuition and the lowest per-student funding of any province in Canada. This has undermined the quality of post-secondary education for students and led to an explosion of contract faculty. It has contributed to deep divisions between administration and academic workers at York University and jeopardized the career plans of thousands of young people at York, with the strike now in its ninth week.

Speaker, does this Liberal government believe that increasing the salaries of senior university administrators is more important than the quality of education that Ontario post-secondary students receive?”