Ontario Power Generation says salaries for its executives are expected to rise by up to $8 million in the next few years as the provincial government lifts a public-sector wage freeze.
Meanwhile, transit agency Metrolinx is proposing to boost its CEO’s pay by up to $118,000, which would see him earn a maximum of $479,500.
All broader public sector agencies are being tasked with posting their proposals for new executive compensation packages under guidelines that came into force in September.
The government sent colleges back to the drawing board after concerns were raised about the salary comparators that they were using for proposals that would boost presidents’ salaries by up to 50 per cent.
OPG landed on a maximum salary of $3.8 million for its CEO — who currently earns $1.5 million — though it says it is setting the target significantly lower.
Spokesman Neal Kelly says the CEO’s salary will actually remain unchanged for three years, but the other approximately 80 executives will now be eligible for merit pay, and when the new program is fully implemented in 2019, that’s expected to cost an extra $6 million to $8 million annually.
OPG, which operates two nuclear sites, was granted permission by the government to use private-sector comparators, as the size and scope of its operations are “more complex than those of many other public sector organizations in Canada” and it has primarily recruited its executives from the private sector.
A spokesman for Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault said the safe operation of Ontario’s large nuclear generating stations requires “technical experts of the highest standard.”
“We fundamentally believe Ontario Power Generation must be able attract and retain this highly specialized expert talent to ensure the safety of Ontario’s nuclear power generation system and deliver key nuclear projects such as the Darlington Refurbishment,” Dan Moulton said in a statement.
OPG is responsible for more than $40 billion in assets, and has $5 billion in annual revenue and more than 9,000 employees.
Metrolinx spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins says the agency’s human resources committee will make a recommendation to the board of directors on where, within the $375,300 to $479,500 range, the president’s salary should fall once the public consultation is over.
Public sector agencies are required to post their executive compensation proposals publicly for 30 days of comment. Metrolinx’s proposal is available in a link on the homepage of its website.
OPG’s public comment period is over, but it received four public comments.
Ontario’s new executive compensation framework caps salaries at the 50th percentile of “appropriate comparators.”