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Changes to public-sector salary reporting meant to protect police officers

Jennifer Howard

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Jennifer Howard (RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES)

The province wants to better protect police officers by allowing them to be identified by number instead of name as part of annual public-sector compensation disclosure reporting.

The proposed changes to the Public Sector Compensation Disclosure Act were introduced Monday by Finance Minister Jennifer Howard.

"We have heard from police officers that public disclosure lists have been used to target officers at their homes and off duty," Howard said. "These amendments would protect police officers while still ensuring Manitobans have a full picture of public-sector salaries."

The act currently requires all public-sector employees who earn more than $50,000 a year to have their name, salary and position disclosed publicly on an annual basis. The requirement applies to the provincial government, Crown corporations, regional health authorities, municipalities, universities and school boards.

The Winnipeg Police Association says in the past the public disclosure of officers’ salaries has been used by criminals to identify and intimidate officers.

"It is an unfortunate phenomenon of police work that certain segments of the criminal element are emboldened to the point of seeking to endanger, threaten or intimidate officers and their families during their off-duty hours or at their personal residences," Winnipeg Police Association president Mike Sutherland said.

All disclosure reports from 2013 must be made available to the public by June 30, 2014.

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