Legal Aid Ontario Compensation and Staffing
A review of the Ontario Public Sector Salary Disclosure documents from 2012 (also known as the Sunshine List) reveal significant compensation increases for senior executives as well as significant increases in management personnel at Legal Aid Ontario. The amounts listed below do not include earned bonuses. Although compensation has never been a primary objective of our organizing campaign we would be remiss if we did not highlight some of the economic inequities that exist at Legal Aid Ontario.
|Executive||Base Salary 2010 ($)||Base Salary 2011 ($)||Salary Increase (%)|
|Bob Ward CEO||226,000||264,000||17|
|Janet Budgell VP||148,000||168,000||14|
|David McKillop VP||156,000||175,000||12|
|Heather Robertson VP||156,000||175,000||12|
|Michelle Seguin VP||162,000||182,00||12|
It is difficult to determine compensation increases for Duty Counsel/Staff Lawyers because salaries vary from person to person – regardless of year of call – and seem to be assigned arbitrarily. Legal Aid denied our FOI request to see the salary variances/grid, which they could have provided in a format that would not disclose an individual’s identity. They simply provided us with the minimum and maximum salary as reported in The Source.
Minimum and Maximum Salaries
Legal Aid documents indicate that between April 1, 2009 and April 1, 2013 that the minimum and maximum salary for a non-management lawyer (S6L) remained the same: $60,601, and $107, 464, respectively. If you factor in inflation (compounded annually) in Ontario over that period, then that represents a 10.06% effective decrease in compensation.
|Effective Date||Minimum Salary ($)||Maximum Salary ($)|
|April 1, 2013||60,601||107,464|
|April 1, 2012||60,601||107,464|
|April 1, 2011||60,601||107,464|
|April 1, 2010||60,601||107,464|
|April 1, 2009||60,601||107,464|
The public sector salary disclosure documents (2012 “Sunshine List” of those earning more than $100,000) reveal a dramatic increase in managers on the list. The number of managers listed has increased from 3 in 2007 to 19 in 2011 – a 533% increase. This change may be due to an increase in managers piercing the $100,000, or it may also point to an increased bureaucratization of LAO over recent years.
The total number of LAO personnel on the list has increased from 46 to 81 from 2007-2011 – a 76% increase. By comparison, other Crown agencies such as the Ontario Human Rights Commission or The Workers Safety and Insurance Appeal Tribunal experienced either a decrease in staff on the list or a single digit increase of staff over the same 4 year period.
Even though the maximum salary for duty counsel and staff lawyers has remained $107,464 since 2007, there has not been a similarly dramatic increase in the number of non-management lawyers earning the $100,000 or more required to be listed. Between the years 2007 and 2011, Duty Counsel on the list increased from 0-3; while staff lawyers on the list increased from 5-9, over the same period. Of the 81 LAO personnel listed, only 12 of them were non-management lawyers. Managers and directors experienced a net gain, on the list, of 20 positions – again suggesting a disproportionate swelling of the management ranks.
These numbers suggest that although there is a maximum salary of $107K (albeit frozen for 5 years) the reality is that only 12 staff lawyers/duty counsel have pierced the $100k mark and it is likely that most of those are due to overtime. Therefore it would appear that the maximum salary is, in practice, virtually unattainable.