Masters’ remuneration ‘inadequate,’ says report
Commission finds compensation for case management masters has long been “inadequate in relation to their level of authority and responsibilities.
The Law Times has interviewed Colleen Bauman on the findings and recommendations made by the First Case Management Masters Remuneration Commission.
In a 200-page report, the Commission determined that masters have “shouldered more than their fair share of the burden during difficult economic times and have been grossly undercompensated during periods of economic prosperity.”
The Commission has recommended that case management masters be compensated at the same level as provincial court judges.
Calling the commission report a major next -step in a long process that began with calls for financial equality between case management and traditional masters in 2000, Colleen Bauman of Goldblatt Partners LLP, who acted on behalf of the Masters’ Association of Ontario in the inquiry, says the recommendations are a vindication.
“It’s clearly a strong affirmation and vindication of the value of the master’s work and its importance and the fact [that] for far too long the masters have been sorely undercompensated in violation of key constitutional principles of judicial independence,” she said.
“That needs to be addressed and rectified immediately.”
“The types of work they do has increased over the years, particularly in comparison to what was the traditional master,” Bauman explained. “The report clearly recognizes they have taken over the complete role of the traditional master plus more and that it is both unfair and unconstitutional to be paying them the low level they have been compensated. They have to be recognized as full judicial officers.”
“Despite these difficult situations in regards to the remuneration, masters have shown an incredible dedication and commitment to making our civil justice system work,” Bauman said. “The name is really a misnomer; although they do some case management work, that is only a portion of the work that they do and they truly are masters as the traditional masters were.”