Susan Brown, appointed president and CEO of Interior Health in October 2018, is the top public sector wage earner in the Central Okanagan, receiving a total of $349,751 in the past year. (file)

Health and education leaders top list of public sector wage earners in Central Okanagan

The heads of Interior Health and UBC Okanagan each received more than $300,000 last year

When it comes to public sector big money earners in the Central Okanagan, running the Interior Health Authority tops the list.

IHA CEO Susan Brown, who took over from Chris Mazurkewich in October 2018, received a total compensation package of $349,751 in 2018-19. That figure included a salary of $295,760, as well as $21,556 in benefits and a pension contribution of $29,153.

Interior Health is one of five geographically based health authorities in B.C., is headquartered in Kelowna and covers the entire southern Interior. There are 58 municipalities in the health region and an estimated 742,000 residents. With an annual budget of $2 billion and nearly 20,000 employees, IH provides a full range of health services to the public, including two tertiary referral hospitals—in Kelowna and Kamloops—seven regional hospitals and 16 community hospitals.

The next closest on the Central Okanagan’s top earner list is UBC deputy vice-chancellor and principal of the UBC Okanagan campus Deborah Buszard. She received total compensation of $333,468 in 2018-19, including a salary of $291,312, $8,074 in benefits and $28,609 in pension contributions.

Brown and Buszard were the only two on the list to surpass $300,000 in total compensation last year, with the next tier including city managers, municipal chief administration officers and education leaders who receive between $200,000 and $236,000 in total compensation.

READ MORE: New CEO found for Interior Health

Okanagan College president Jim Hamilton received a total of $239,000 in salary and benefits last year, while Central Okanagan superintendent of schools/CEO Kevin Kaardal was paid $235,436 and claimed $28,982 in expenses in 2018-19.

On the municipal side, City of Kelowna deputy city manager Joe Creron was the highest paid employee at city hall, receiving a total of $230,000 last year. That was just $29,000 more than city manager Doug Gilchrist, who took over the job from Ron Mattiussi in the spring of 2018.

West Kelowna’s former CAO Jim Zaffino, who left the city earlier this year, received $217,676 in total compensation and claimed $7,954 in expenses in 2018, while his counterpart at the Regional District of Central Okanagan, Brian Reardon, received a total of $205,408 and claimed $8,581 in expenses.

The Okanagan Regional Library’s CEO Don Nettleton received $143,000 and Lake Country CAO Albert DeFeo received $140,991 and claimed $10,840 in expenses.

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