Reading this, the exact words "didn't see that one coming" went through my head as well (and English isn't even my first language). Only sarcastically. Really, after the first two panels, where else could this have gone? ;)
Ridiculous. What PHB would call you in and give you that info? No way! Should you find that out on your own and went in and complained, your PHB would say, "we don't discuss salaries amongst one another". If you are below the industry average, you have options......quit or quit.