Ladies Get Paid Less At The HCDSB - And Other Interesting Details of The Director's Employment Contracts

From a recent Freedom of Information Request - Employment Contract Details of The Director of Education and Secretary of the Board for the Halton Catholic District School Board, Paula Dawson and Mike Pautler;

  • Contract length. Her first contract was for 2 years (+ 3 more depending), starting September 1, 2013 and ending August 31, 2015. In contrast, the last Director was given an 8 year deal (4 plus an automatic renewal of 4 more)
  • Contract renewal. She can get the 3 more years only if she passes a successful performance review. Her contract was indeed renewed last November at a Board meeting and now ends on August 31, 2018 (so sometime in 2014 she passed a performance review). According to his contract, the previous male Director Mike Pautler could get a total of 4 more years automatically. His contract didn't have the mandatory performance review requirement. His deal, minimum automatic 8 year deal, Her deal, minimum 2 and another 3 if she's good. Compared to the former Director, at her current rate of pay she'd be out 3 years pay so her deal was short $600,000 plus benefits.
  • Salary. Her base salary is fixed at $200,000.00 per year. Her salary may be increased at any time if the Board and government guidelines allow it otherwise it is fixed at $200,000 until the Board changes it. When that will be will likely not be made public unless another FOI request is made. His base salary included annual increases on a familiar grid style and was $206,115 (fixed) when he left in August 2013. If he'd had stayed on as Director, the Board would have paid Mike Pautler at a minimum $18,345 more than it will pay Paula Dawson during the same period of time for the same job.
  • Severance. His contract contained a severance allowance clause which would give him $154,586 in salary. Her contract has no severance clause and would therefore default to what the Employment Standards Act requires, approximately $57,000
  • Dispute resolution. His had a mandatory dispute resolution and arbitration clause, her contract has no similar clauses.
  • God clause. His had a clause that required him to remain a practicing Roman Catholic and ratepayer. She has no such clause and is therefore able to skip mass or convert to Judaism if she likes.
  • Performance Appraisal. She must have a mandatory annual Performance Appraisal conducted by the Board. His contract says there may be an evaluation, the details of which, he would get to negotiate first.
  • Salary Increases. He had a clause that would automatically bump up his pay if unionized staff got an increase. Hers has no such clause. His also had a "Performance Incentive Bonus" clause, hers had no such clause.
  • Vacation. He gets 6 weeks of vacation, which if he doesn't take it can be paid out in a lump sum of $23,782 at the end of the year. She gets exactly the same deal at her rate of pay for a lump sum of $23,077. Over an eight year contract period Pautler would have made $5,640 more in vacation pay than the current Director Paula Dawson.
  • Sick leave. They both get 2 days per month and can accumulate a total of 270 days.
  • Expenses. She gets a monthly travel allowance (no maximum amount stated) and her expenses covered for conferences etc. (no maximum amount stated). He gets a travel allowance of 45 cents a kilometer and if he goes to a conference the Board will bill the expenses to their own account not his.
  • Professional development. He has a special clause, she does not. She can get PD if recommended or approved by the Board, he can get PD without Board recommendation or approval. 
  • Legal advice. His has a clause that says the Board offered him independent legal advice in regards to his employment contract, hers has no such clause.
  • Free Legal Protection. He gets a $15,000 legal retainer indemnification benefit plus all reasonable additional costs while employed and after employment if he is personally sued, she has no such clause.
  • Benefits. They both are given the opportunity to participate in senior administration group benefit plans. He gets his benefits paid by the Board until he is 65, she has no such clause. She gets 5 times her salary for Group life Insurance, AD&D 2 times her salary, $150,000 in Supplementary Life Insurance 100% paid, Extended Health Care 100% paid, Long Term Disability 100% paid, Health Spending Account $1,000 per year. He has no such clause in his contract.
  • Contract. His last extended contract was signed, dated and witnessed. Paula Dawson is currently working without having signed an extended employment contract passed by the Board in November 2014 and the details of which are said to be unchanged in every respect from her original contract first signed in June of 2013, including no changes to salary.

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.


  1. Just another example of the Catholic "Double-Standard" syndrome, in addition to both inequality among workers and discrimination based on sex. Let's add to that a lack of transparency and an attitude of "asking forgiveness rather than permission".


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