October 7th, 2015

Government needs hard caps on university executive salaries: NDP

Today, in Question Period NDP MPP for London West Peggy Sattler called on the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities to close loopholes and cap executive salaries at post-secondary institutions.

“Earlier, I raised the issue of the million dollar salary legally paid to the President of Western University. Now we are learning about a 50% salary increase for a University of Ottawa VP, over the two years since the public sector wage freeze took effect.  Allan Rock, the university president and former Liberal Cabinet Minister, is defending the increase, saying that it was ‘compliant’ with provincial law.” 

“Speaker, when it comes to post-secondary education, this government has no problem allowing tuition fees to skyrocket, no problem with poverty wages for teaching assistants and no problem replacing full-time jobs with contract staff. But it is not willing to hold the line on executive compensation.”

“Why is this government refusing to take real action to rein in the salaries of senior university administrators?” asked Sattler.

According to the Sunshine list, two executives at the University of Ottawa have seen their salaries balloon in less than two years. Sattler says students in Ontario pay the highest tuition in Canada and that the government needs to act now and draw a hard line on exorbitant salaries paid out to university executives.

“Speaker, Ontario university students pay the highest tuition fees in Canada, and have seen tuition more than triple over the past 20 years. Post-secondary students are among the fastest-growing group of food bank users, while student tuition dollars are being used to subsidize out-of-control executive salaries. The government talks about compensation frameworks, but what we need are hard caps that work.”

“When will the government close the loopholes, remove the wiggle room, and finally put a hard cap on salaries for senior university administrators?” Sattler asked.