Ontario Salary Glasnost

Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Thu Apr 4 22:45:32 EST 1996


Recently elected Progressive Conservative Government
of Ontario (Premier Mike Harris) generally does not
enjoy a high popularity. Recent drastic budget cuts
in vital sectors, massive laid offs and 'downsizing'
resulted in a massive opposition among  people of 
Ontario and triggered several major strikes.

Nevertheless, these days the same Government is praised
by many for its new law of mandatory public disclosure
of all salaries paid in a public sector of which are
higher that $ 100,000 (Can) per (about $ 72,000 US ).

Yesterday (April 3, 1996) the Globe and Mail has published
a lenghtly list of Ontario 100+ Club. In a lenghtly list
of many hundered names (with exact salaries) about half
are professors and stuff of 16 Ontario universities. There 
are number of things in this table which appear somewhat 
odd. For example, I've noticed that the pride of the 
University of Toronto, Nobel Prize profressor of Chemistry 
John Polanyi is rewarded well behind ($ 112,965) the 
VP Administration Finlayson ($ 164,765).

Though I am not ceratin if this is indeed the first 
attempt of this kind, this initiative of Ontario
Government in introducing Salary Glasnost 
deserves, I believe, similar repetition in other
Canadian Provinces and USA States. For a long time
my colleagues and I are arguing for the dismantling
of the secretive (anonymous) peer review system in
science and its replacement by an open system 
(Glasnost = openness). I have to conclude (perhaps 
somewhat regrettfully), that this time credit should 
be given to Ontario politicians for advancing us 
(scientists) on the routes towards Glasnost.

Alexander A. Berezin, PhD
Department of Engineering Physics
McMaster University, Hamilton,
Ontario, Canada, L8S 4L7
tel. (905) 525-9140 ext. 24546

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