Adams blames arbitrators for additions to ‘sunshine list’

April 2, 2014   ·   0 Comments

By James Matthews – Those blasted arbitrators.

According to Orangeville Mayor Rob Adams, they’re to blame for so many of the town’s emergency services personnel being able to be named on the 2013 ‘sunshine list’ released last week.

Of the 34 municipal employees listed among the public servants to make more than $100,000 throughout Ontario in 2013, there are 14 Orangeville Police Service members and seven members of the town’s fire department.

Regardless how one feels about naming people and detailing how much money they made, Mayor Adams feels the sunshine list is an important tool for the public to keep on eye on how public funds are spent.

The number of Orangeville emergency services employees on the sunshine list is attributable to the effect the province’s arbitration system, he said. One police force gets a salary increase through arbitration and sets a precedent for another force to use in contract negotiations. That drives up pay for police officers across the board.

And it’s as simple as that.

“My concern is that the arbitration system in Ontario has been implemented in a way that forgets the efforts that elected officials are taking to control costs of a municipality,” the mayor said.

Municipalities are often forced to increase taxes to cover the higher policing costs. That’s despite the fact the average taxpayer hasn’t had a salary increase and recently weathered an economic downturn.

“With arbitrators’ decisions, municipal costs and taxes are going up,” Mayor Adams said. “And people have less disposable income because of it.”

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