Top paid Sask. government employee made over $400K in 2017-18

The top paid civil servant in Saskatchewan made over $400,000 in the 2017-18 fiscal year according to Saskatchewan’s public accounts.

Working through the Justice Ministry, chief forensic pathologist Dr. Shaun Ladham was paid $400,026 for his services.

Ladham cleared nearly $70,000 more than the second highest earner. That distinction goes to chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab. Saskatchewan’s top doctor earned $330,288.

Deputy chief medical health officer Denise Werker received $298,041 for her services.

The province’s many provincial and Court of Queen’s Bench judges also rank among the province’s top earners. Salaries vary from judge to judge, however 35 of them make roughly $300,000 annually.

The top earners across all government ministries like education, highways and social services made a combined $3.79 million last fiscal year. The total cost of the civil service clocked in at $1.1 billion.

Salaries and benefits are the biggest government expenditure outside the cost of day-to-day operations.

In the province’s three year plan to get back to a balanced budget, the idea of reducing public sector compensation by 3.5 per cent was originally proposed. In the 2018-19 budget, it was modified to a $70 million reduction to compensation among executive government and Crown corporations.

Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said the work on achieving that $70 million reduction is still ongoing, but she did not have a firm update on when.

“[Deputy minister to the premier Cam] Swan will be overseeing that in the public service commission and they will be doing the same in Crown investments,” Harpauer said.

The minister added that she will be requesting an update on that information for the second quarter fiscal update, expected before the end of November, or shortly after that update.

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