8% to 15% pay hikes for SD43 execs, financial statements show

Pay in line with BCPSEA rules, official says; while teachers rally for higher pay

While B.C. teachers are looking for wage parity with teachers in other provinces above a 2% ceiling imposed by the provincial government, a new compensation structure introduced last year by the BC Public Schools Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) resulted in top officials in School District 43 receiving pay increases of between 8% and 15%.

SD43's top staffer, superintendent Patricia Gartland, alone received a pay increase of 10% for a total of $249,949 for the 2018/’19 school year.

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But her salary hike wasn’t the highest as secretary treasurer Chris Nicolls, who is now also the district’s chief financial officer, received a 15% increase in pay, for $200,543 in executive compensation, according to the latest Statement of Financial Information (SOFI).

The salary hikes are in line with a new compensation structure introduced by the Public Sector Employers’ Council in 2018 after a six-year wage freeze, The Tri-City News was told.

“The new structure allowed flexibility for all school districts to place exempt employees on to the BCPSEA provided compensation grid based on time in position and acceptable job performance, and subject to their further approval,” Nicolls stated in an email.

But while the increases were tied to job description and performance, not cost of living, the increase in compensation outlined in SOFI comes as B.C.’s teachers are calling for higher wages, arguing they are falling behind teachers in other provinces and should be receiving more than the provincially mandated 2% maximum increase for public sector employees in each of three years.

(A report by mediator David Schaub Nov. 1 stated that teachers and BCPSEA are still far apart on numerous issues, and called for changes in the bargaining structure. On the weekend, B.C. teachers rallied outside the BC NDP's annual convention hoping to draw attention to their stalled contract talks.)

Back in the SD43 board office, assistant superintendents received 10% increases to their executive compensation, with other officials receiving between 8% and 13% depending on their positions.

Here’s the remuneration for SD43’s 10 top paid officials:

1. Patricia Gartland (superintendent): $249,949

2. Chris Nicolls (secretary treasurer, CFO): $200,543

3. Carey Chute (assistant superintendent): $182,290

4. Reno Ciolfi (assistant superintendent): $182,290

5. Rob Zambrano (assistant superintendent): $180,638

6. Gerald Shong (assistant superintendent): $180,638

7. Randy Manhas (executive director, HR): $157,294

8. Paul McNaughton (director of instruction, learning services): $153,203

9. Stephen Whiffin (director of instruction, learning services): $153,174

10. Ivano Cecchini (executive director, facilities): $151,257

The SOFI report was part of the Nov. 26 board of education package and can be found here

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