The Northern Health Authority statement of financial information for the year ended March 31, 2010 revealed that 921 Northern Health employees earned in excess of $75,000 during the 2009/2010 fiscal year.
According to Northern Health 557 of these employees are nurses, 177 are paramedics, 20 are support staff and 167 are non-contract staff that are excluded from union membership.
The Northern Health report states that the total of all 7,000 Northern Heath employee wages costs $304,753,746 for the fiscal year, while the employees that earn over $75,000 account for $202,946,820 of the total amount.
The public report individually details the salaries and expenses of each of the 921 highest earners with the largest sum of money being paid out to Catherine Ulrich, Northern Health’s president and chief executive officer.
Ulrich, who was paid a total of $303,014 during the 2009/2010 fiscal year, claimed the top job in 2007 and her wage has steadily increased since then.
During the 2009/2010 fiscal year Ulrich was also paid a total of $34,403 for expenses.
In statements showing her 2006/2007 remuneration, Ulrich was paid a total of $193,164, in 2007/2008 she was paid $242,578 and in 2008/2009 she received $266,599.
Ulrich’s expenses too have varied each year between $26,393 and $39,873.
Northern Health say the expenses includes such things as employee travel expenses, tuition, registration fees, relocation allowances and professional membership fees.
Remuneration figures reported in the statement for all Northern Health top wage earners includes a base wage amount as well as the possibility of overtime, on call premiums, retroactive pay, taxable benefits, vacation pay and retiring allowance.
Other top Northern Health earners that represent the Lakes District area include Michael McMillan, chief operating officer for the Northern Interior region.
McMillan pocketed $203,043 during the 2009/2010 fiscal year and was also paid a further $10,966 to cover his expenses.
McMillan’s wage increased by $9,340 from the reported 2008/2009 amount of $193,703.
Lakes District/Omineca heath services administrator, April Hughes also saw her wage increase from $120,488 in 2008/2009 to $131,012 in 2009/2010.
Hughes, a regular visitor to the Lakes District area, was also paid a further $7,090 to cover her expenses in 2009/2010.
Steve Raper, director of communications for Northern Health, said that the increases in remuneration were due to a Northern Health performance pay grid.
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He went on to say that all Northern Health employees have target performance indicators that they are required meet and achieve.
Once an employee achieves the tasks and objectives set before them they are then paid accordingly, within a set pay scale.
Raper went on to say that the Northern Health pay scale is also competitive with other similar industry pay structures.
Raper said the targets that are set are project specific and require specific projects to be completed within a certain time frame.
He used an example of a project that he was required to complete which was to completely update the Northern Health website to make information more readily available to the public.
Raper said the expenses that are recorded for each employee are for items such as memberships and registration fees however he went on to say that a large portion of expenses is often due to the regional representative’s travel expenses.
“Northern Health has a large area to cover,” he said.
“We have worked hard to reduce the travel costs of regional employees and do use video and audio conferencing whenever we can which reduces travel expenses, but we do have to maintain some face to face contact,” he added.
Raper went on to say, “We have a pretty expansive area that we cover, it is the size of the entire country of France.”
“We are not the only industry that has to maintain communication across a large area, I think however, that I would be willing to bet that we are one of the largest users of video and telephone conferencing in the North,” he added.