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Friday, July 4, 2014

Asleep at the Wheel - Trustees hire a Director and give him a pay raise the first day on the job.

HCDSB Trustees hired Mike Pautler in August 2008 to replace the retiring Director of Education. HCDSB NEWS made an FOI request for his employment contract. Starting in August 2008 until July 2009 the contract states he was to be paid $170,000 plus an additional $9000 car allowance for a total of $179,000. In his second year he was to be paid $175,100 plus the additional $9000 car allowance for a total of $184,100. Since he is paid like a teacher but the Sunshine list only shows income from January to December you have to do the following calculation for his yearly pay. Taking 7 months (Jan 09 until July 09) of the first years salary ($179,000) and five months (Aug 09 until Dec 09) of the second year salary you get $104,416 + $76,708 = $181,124  which is what he would have been paid from Jan 09 until Dec 09 if trustees had followed their contract. The trouble is the the Sunshine list for 2009 lists his salary as $187,920 a difference to ratepayers of $6796.00


The Sunshine list is known to be the most accurate figure since a person's employer must submit the figure that is on the employee's T4 slip. So how did the HCDSB overpay their new director by almost $7000? After numerous information requests to the HCDSB regarding the $7000 difference the Treasurer of the HCDSB Paul McMahon explained in an email that the Director was given his "step" increases as well as an "annual percentage increases corresponding to those for all other employees" What this means in english is that when all the principals and superintendents (senior administration) where given their raises of 3% to 3.5% at a Board meeting December 16, 2008 the Director was given the same raise retroactive to his first day on the job even though he had only been on the job for 5 months. Was the Treasurer unaware of the director's employment contract details? The contract stipulated there were no other agreements or understandings other than what was in the contract and it certainly didn't mention being entitled to additional pay increases beyond his "steps". It appears from the following motion that the Director is in charge of all salary increases and he took a 3.6% increase for himself. 


A review of HCDSB Board minutes of December 16, 2008 at an in camera session of a meeting of the HCDSB they adopt a motion that states;

IC - # 16/09
 
that the Halton Catholic District School Board approve the salary adjustments to the Senior Staff salary schedules effective September 1, 2008. The Director will bring forward a more detailed report with recommendations as to any other proposed changes to the Senior Staff compensation and working conditions in the new year. Moved by: P. Houlahan Seconded by: E. Viana RESOLVED


Interestingly section 3.1 of his contract stated "the Employee shall at all times act in the best interests of the Board, its ratepayers and its pupils, and conduct himself within the highest moral standards expected of a senior executive working in the field of Catholic education."

This behavior, or lack their of, on the part of trustees to safeguard taxpayer dollars is troubling to say the least. There are four trustees still sitting that were in attendance when the pay increase for the Director was voted on and passed. They are Ed Viana, Alice Anne LeMay (Chair in 2008), Anthony Danko and Arlene Iantomasi. A number of questions need to be answered regarding this public use of funds. 1. Were trustees not informed about what they were voting on? 2. Were they unaware of employment contract terms and details of the Director they had just hired? 3. Did they know they had hired him for an eight year term? 4. Did their new Director mislead them in some way? 4. Will they give teachers, caretakers and other support staff raises beyond whats' in their contracts? 5. Had they planned on giving the Director a raise all along but just thought this would be a way of slipping it by without notice? - who knows, if you do let us know.


 As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned in any article will be published in full.

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