More than 350 Hamilton high school teachers added to Ontario’s Sunshine List of $100K earners

·2 min read

The number of Hamilton high school teachers that earned $100,000 or more last year more than doubled from 2019, according to Ontario’s Sunshine List.

In total, 671 secondary teachers at the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board made the province’s public sector salary disclosure list — more than double the number in 2019.

This does not include long-term occasional teachers and those “on loan to federation.”

Spokesperson Shawn McKillop said the number “tends to grow as staff move up their pay grids,” which are determined by a combination of experience and qualifications, and as changes are made to collective agreements and contracts.

The largest growth area is among secondary teachers, he said.

“This is because a large number of teachers have reached the maximum grid rate and any additional allowances has moved them over $100,000,” McKillop said.

Daryl Jerome, president of the local bargaining unit for the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, told The Spectator the increase reflects “the small percentage salary increase we received after our collective agreement was ratified last spring” — one per cent, retroactive to Sept. 1, 2019.

“With this increase, the salary of a teacher at the maximum grid level has now pierced $100K,” he said in an email.

Another one per cent increase was applied in September, bringing the top salary to $101,979.

Jerome said it typically takes a teacher 12 years — and often additional university courses — to reach the top of the grid.

For Jerome, “a 25-year-old list that hasn’t changed with inflation” is no cause for celebration.

“This list is irrelevant,” he said.

The number of secondary teachers at the Catholic board — who are represented by a different union — making $100,000 or more grew only slightly, from 128 in 2019 to 140 in 2020.

The number of elementary school teachers decreased by nearly half in the same year — from 240 in 2019 to 127 in 2020.

Jeff Sorensen, president of the Hamilton-Wentworth Elementary Teachers’ Local union, said last year’s strike contributed to lower salaries in 2020.

“I think the more important question is why the director makes almost five times the salary of a new teacher,” Sorensen said in an email.

HWDSB education director Manny Figueiredo earned nearly $250,000 in 2020.

Kate McCullough, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator