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Director of Education Donna Quan’s salary is $ 289,000 a year, and not the $ 315,000 alleged in a confidential email sent by the outgoing chair before she left office, says the Toronto District School Board.
Just hours before Mari Rutka’s term ended Nov. 30, she sent an email to trustees outlining her version of events in trying to obtain a copy of Quan’s contract over several months. A copy of that email was obtained by the Star.
“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,’ ” she wrote.
A board spokesperson said while there was a contract with that amount stated it in, it was not approved by the ministry and Quan has been paid $ 289,000 and no more.
Rutka could not be reached for comment.
Quan’s $ 289,000 salary is $ 17,000 higher than her predecessor Chris Spence, but equal to his predecessor Gerry Connelly.
The amount has come under scrutiny because it was negotiated during a broader public sector salary freeze, and is one of the issues a provincial adviser appointed to look into affairs at the board is reviewing.
In a statement issued Wednesday evening, the board said “As of October 2013, an annual salary of $ 289, 277 was the highest salary in effect for the Director of Education position. The Director accepted this salary as per the decision of the Board through the Chair of the Board. It is the same salary that former Director Gerry Connelly received in 2009. At commencement of his role, Director of Education Chris Spence’s compensation package exceeded both current Director Donna Quan and former Director Gerry Connelly’s compensation plan.
“With respect to requests for copies of the Director’s contract by the former Chair, as the contract was determined by the former Board and an external lawyer to the Board, as per process, the Chair was advised in July 2014 after she made her request that the contract and details would best be discussed and provided to her through a request by her to the external lawyer. More recently, contact information was again provided by the Director’s Office when it appeared that the former Chair still had not contacted external counsel. We understand that, upon follow up to the Chair, she eventually contacted external counsel,” the statement said.
“In addition, the former Chair, Mari Rutka, was also advised to contact the prior Chair, Chris Bolton, to seek clarification on the negotiations process and details. We do not know if she had done so.
“We understand that the Board passed a motion in October 2013 authorizing the Chair to negotiate a contract with Ms. Quan. Although Ms. Quan was not present at that meeting or the subsequent meeting, after negotiations we understand that the contract and its terms were presented to the Board by outside counsel in late October.
“We can confirm that Donna Quan’s annual salary is $ 289,277 as was confirmed to her by the former Chair of the Board, Chris Bolton,” the board statement concluded. “At no time has the Director’s salary exceeded this amount. The Director does receive additional allowances of a car allowance of $ 12,000 and a $ 6,800 supplementary allowance for mileage, parking and other expenses.”