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Canadian Hearing Society ramps up pay for top executives as strike continues

Canadian Hearing Society ramps up pay for top executives as strike continues

A taxpayer-funded charity that provides services to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community across Ontario has ramped up its pay for top executives while cutting front-line staff, research by CBC News reveals.

The Canadian Hearing Society (CHS) receives more than $20 million annually from the provincial government for such services as sign-language interpretation in hospitals, counselling and audiology. The agency’s unionized workers, many of whom are themselves deaf, are on picket lines across the province in a strike that began in early March.

The salary of the agency’s president and CEO shot up 75 per cent in just three years, according to data from Ontario’s Sunshine List.

The salary of its vice president of finance and corporate services appeared on previous versions of the Sunshine List but was not disclosed for 2016. That’s because he switched to billing the agency as a consultant for his work. CBC News has learned that his consulting rate amounts to a 26 per cent pay hike from three years earlier.

Meanwhile, unionized staff at the Canadian Hearing Society haven’t had a pay increase since their contract expired four years ago. The agency has cut its total number of full-time staff by 28 per cent in three years, according to information filed with the federal charities directorate.

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