TORONTO -- Hospital overtime during COVID-19 and pandemic pay landed many of Ontario’s registered nurses onto the 2020 Sunshine List, which discloses the number of publicly-paid employees who earned a six-figure salary.

The Progressive Conservative government said the list also saw a massive jump in the number of teachers earning $100,000 or more last year – contributing to a dramatic rise in the overall amount of public employees on the Sunshine List.

This year's list saw more than 200,000 people pulling in six-figure salaries -- a 23 per cent increase from 2019 – and the government said nearly 75 per cent of that growth came from the hospital and school board sectors. 

While nurses received a temporary pay bump in recognition of the non-stop work during the pandemic, the rise in teaching salaries could be attributed to their negotiated salary grid.

Elementary and secondary school teachers with a decade’s worth of experience saw their yearly pay cross the $100,000 threshold in Sept. 2019. 

That led to a whopping 55 per increase in the number of school board employees on the Sunshine List, rising from 28,000 in 2019 to nearly 44,000 in 2020 – teachers, the government says represent 97 per cent of that hike.

Ontario Power Generation’s president Kenneth Hartwick recorded the highest salary of all public sector employees in Ontario, pulling in $1.2 million in 2020 – OPG executives took six of the top ten spots for a combined $5.7 million in compensation, not including benefits. 

Kevin Smith, the CEO of the University Health Network who served as an advisor to the Ontario government during the pandemic response, and was instrumental in the early vaccine roll out, made $844,992 in 2020. 

Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health made $444,000, while his deputy Dr. Barbara Yaffe made $296,000.

The government said, however, that the average salary declined from $127,396 in 2019 to $125,871 in 2020. 

Top 10 salaries for 2020:

  1. Ontario Power Generation's Kenneth Hartwick $1,228,517
  2. Ontario Power Generation's Dominique Miniere $1,131,767
  3. Ontario Power Generation's Sean Granville $901,606.32
  4. Ontario Power Generation's Michael Martelli $850,332.27
  5. Hospitals & Boards of Public Health's Kevin Smith $844,992.20
  6. Ontario Power Generation's Randy Lockwood $818,891
  7. Ontario Power Generation's Dietmar Reiner $817,862
  8. Crown Agencies' Mark Fuller $797,474
  9. Crown Agencies' Stephen Rigby $797,308.55
  10. Hospitals & Boards of Public Health's Timothy Rutledge $776,412