PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL
30 November, 2014
This e-mail is sent privately and confidentially by me, as the current Chair of the Toronto District School Board, to you, as the current trustees of the Toronto District School Board.
In my capacity as Chair, it has been and is my duty under the Education Act, to provide the Board with the information it needs to make decisions. I have done my best to do so. Of the many matters and issues that have been before us over the last several months, one has been determining what to do about the discrepancy between the salary which the Director appears to have been paid over this last year. The matter of the salary was unresolved at the departure of Chair Chris Bolton on June 13, 2014.
Upon becoming chair, I was unable to locate a copy of any director's contract in the Chair's office and asked for copies of the current and 2 previous directors' contracts in an e-mail to the Director, on June 27, 2014 at 11:15 a.m.
On Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 at 10:29 a.m., immediately following a phone call from the Director's Assistant, Ms. Dani Carnevale, I was sent contact information by e-mail for Mr. Michael Sherrard, a lawyer whom Ms. Carnevale stated was representing "the firm acting on behalf of the Board on Director Quan's contract."
On Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 at 11:46 a.m., I wrote to Mr. Sherrard asking him to confirm that he was the lawyer "representing the Board of Trustees in the negotiations that led to the contract for the current Director, Ms. Donna Quan."
On Monday, Nov. 24, 2014 at 9:26 a.m., Mr. Sherrard confirmed that his firm "represented the Board of Trustees in the negotiations."
On Monday, Nov. 24, 2014 at 11:33 a.m., I asked Mr. Sherrard for a copy of the contract "along with all pertinent documentation, contractual paperwork and information regarding the negotiation of that contract, including the name of counsel for Director Quan" and that this "be provided to me immediately."
As of the date of our last board meeting, Nov. 26, 2014, I had not received any documentation from Mr. Sherrard.
On Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014 at 4:34 p.m, Mr. Sherrard sent via e-mail a soft copy of the Director's contact, dated October 9, 2013, as well as a copy of the contract negotiated for the interim director's position, dated January 18, 2013. Mr. Sherrard also provided the name of Director Quan's counsel in contract negotiations but no other documentation was sent to me via e-mail. No other documentation, nor the hard copy promised for the Chair's office, as far as I am aware, had been received by the Chair's office. As this was still the case on Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, I printed, from the soft copies received from Mr. Sherrard, both the contract for the interim director's position and the contract for the Director. A copy of each has been placed in the Chair's office files under lock and key.
This current Board of Trustees, as well as the next Board of Trustees should know that the contract states that the Director be paid "an annual salary of Three Hundred and Fifteen Thousand ($315,000.00) Dollars per annum, subject to approval by the Ministry of Education." The Ministry wrote on January 10, 2014 to say that the salary should be the same as that of "Mr. Chris Spence."
Unfortunately, with the details of the contract information coming so late to this Board, the matter of whether there is any further documentation that would clarify what exactly the Director has actually been paid and whether there is any documentation as to how the amount the Director has been paid was determined, negotiated or set, and how this relates to the contracts of the two previous directors (which I was unable to obtain from staff), are all matters that the next Board taking office on December 1st, 2014 will have to consider should they so choose. The next Board may also wish to examine the other terms of the contract, including the clause in the contract regarding performance appraisal. That clause is as follows:
"On the first anniversary of this Agreement and every anniversary thereafter, the Board conduct an in camera performance review of the Executive based on mutually agreed upon, written goals and objectives consistent with the Executive's Annual Plan. "
At this point, it remains for me to thank all of you for your work as trustees of the Toronto District School Board and for your dedication to and passion for public education. I wish all of you the best into the future. Whether you will be going on to other pursuits or whether you will be continuing in your roles as trustees, may your paths always unfold in good ways.
Chair, Toronto District School Board