Home Global Reader letter: Health unit owes explanation for employee’s huge jump in salary

Reader letter: Health unit owes explanation for employee’s huge jump in salary

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Reader letter: Health unit owes explanation for employee’s huge jump in salary
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is pictured Thursday, March 19, 2020.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is pictured Thursday, March 19, 2020. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

Re: Sunshine List: Local health unit manager earns huge hike in 2021 pay, by Doug Schmidt, April 8

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I want to congratulate Star journalist Doug Schmidt for his recent story.

For readers who did not have a chance to take this in, Schmidt noted that Ramsey D’Souza, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit’s manager of epidemiology and evaluation, received a pay hike of 88 per cent in one year. This isn’t a typo. D’Souza’s salary ballooned from $129,634 to $243,107 in one year.

I find this disgraceful, but not entirely because of the enormous increase.

What baffles me, and kudos to Schmidt for pointing this out, is the local health unit could not offer an explanation to why the huge increase was warranted. D’Souza assumed more responsibility? Did he do 88 per cent more work? Unfortunately, we don’t know the truth because the local health department has put a curtain on this.

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What we do know, however, is the individual doing the same job in Toronto received $129,840 and in Hamilton, $123,172. Do a quick Google search of the average salary for this position in Canada and it comes up $87,825.

I really have no qualms with D’Souza getting this big boost in pay, but answers need to be provided by his employers, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

All health units are funded by local taxpayers and Ontario Ministry of Health. The provincial health department requested more funding for D’Souza’s salaries. Or did they simply take the $113,473 increase from somewhere else in their budget and adding it to the costs paid by taxpayers.

I believe the local health unit owes the taxpayers of Windsor-Essex more than the explanation the health unit does not comment on the salary of individual employees.

Fred Groves, Essex

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