Expenses, wages paid out to higher salary earners in Coquitlam district increased last year

According to the SOFI report for 2012/’13, SD43 struggled to keep salaries and expenses down. The Statement of Financial Information was made public this week. - FILE
According to the SOFI report for 2012/’13, SD43 struggled to keep salaries and expenses down. The Statement of Financial Information was made public this week.
— image credit: FILE

How well did School District 43 do in containing its costs last year?

Those answers can be found in the latest Statement of Financial Information (SOFI) released to the public this week.

According to the SOFI report for 2012/’13, SD43 struggled to keep salaries and expenses down, meeting with only partial success in cost-cutting measures to avoid worsening a deficit that was eventually pegged at $10 million.

Among the costs were higher salaries for elected trustees and more money paid out to higher wage earners — those making more than $75,000 — according to the SOFI report.

For employees making $75,000 or less, however, wage totals dropped, according to the statements.

Last year, for example, the district spent $92.96 million for the higher salaried employees, compared to $80.08 million in 2011/’12 (up $12 million, or 16%). Expenses for this group were also up to $550,570 from $539,1311 the year previous.

In comparison, salary payouts for employees making less than $75,000 dropped to $112.08 million in ’12/’13 from $118.74 million in ’11/’12. Expenses for this group also dropped to $315,800 from $405,133 the year previous.


SD43's top salary earners were:

Tom Grant, superintendent, who earned $195,610, and assistant superintendents Julie Pearce ($145,199), Sylvia Russell ($145,199), Maureen Dockendorf ($145,199, and she left to join the Ministry of Education), Patricia Gartland ($143,164) and Carey Chute ($134,058). Jamie Ross, director of human resources, made $136,020 last year.

SD43 also paid $148,495, plus $2,311.35 in expenses, to former secretary treasurer Rick Humphreys, who left the district in December 2012. In May of this year, SD43 revealed that Humphreys' departure from School District 43 was by mutual agreement, and one of the conditions agreed to was his $148,495 severance. His last day of work was Dec. 19, 2012.

Retirements also accounted for some higher salaries paid as SD43 settled out accumulated payments owed; for example, Dave Taylor, who retired as head of student services, was paid $211,210 and Cheryl Quinton, who retired as manager of communication, received $129,478.

Neither of those positions have not been replaced.

Meanwhile, a bump in salary and an all-expense paid trip to China were among the highlights revealed in the SOFI report for politicians.


During 2012/’13, the Chinese government paid for the SD43 board chair Melissa Hyndes and trustees Holly Butterfield (Anmore/Belcarra) and Keith Watkins (Port Moody) to visit the country as part of the district's international education outreach. The trip cost about $9,000 but no provincial funds were spent on travel expenses.

The 14% pay hike approved at the end of 2011/’12 resulted in Hyndes, who is a PoMo trustee, receiving $40,343.16 in 2012/’13, with Butterfield receiving $37,683.68 and PoCo Trustee Judy Shirra receiving $37, 250.80 (they fill in for the chair when she's absent). Trustees Gail Alty, Brian Robinson, Diane Sowden and Gerri Wallis (Coquitlam), John Keryluk (PoCo) and Watkins each received $36,674.82.

Hyndes, Butterfield and Watkins racked up higher-than-usual expense claims — $9,412, $9,734 and $11,727 respectively — due to the China trip, with those funds over and above the $9,000 spent on conferences and other district-related expenses.

The remaining trustees were reimbursed for expenses as follows: Alty, $1,654 (compared to $3,463 the year previous); Keryluk, $550 ($2,159): Robinson, $1,008 ($1,500); Shirra, $2,124 ($1,836); Sowden, $2,685 ($549); and Wallis $470 ($1,344).

The full SOFI report for 2012/’13 was made available at the board of education meeting Tuesday evening and will be on the district website at


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