Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Work for 4 months, get paid for 16

...nice work if you can get it.

The Edmonton Public School Board recently dismissed their new Superintendent, Lyall Thomson (left), after less than four and a half months on the job.

Mr. Thomson smartly negotiated (for him, not for taxpayers) an escape clause in his employment contract that allows either side to terminate the contract with no-fault being assigned.

In the case that he pulls the chute, he has to give six months notice.

In the case the public school board exercises the clause, they have to give 365 days notice or severance in lieu.

With no notice given by the school board, Mr. Thomson now receives 365 days worth of severance, totalling his one year salary of $179,000.

So the Edmonton Public School Board has not only paid Mr. Thompson $64,734.25 for his little over four months of work, but now will pay him an additional $179,000 to leave.

Totalling $243,734.25.

That's pretty generous pay for so little work.

In fact...

It works out to:
$55,394.18 per month or
$2,738.59 per work day (assuming he didn't work weekends or stat holidays) or
$342.32 per work hour (assuming 5 day work weeks and 8 hour work days)

And just to rub some salt in the taxpayer wound, the no-fault clause doesn't allow the School Board to explain why they are even terminating him.

Perhaps his employment contract didn't allow it, but why didn't the school board demote this guy to "head vomit cleaner" on the custodial staff, and then give him his 365 days notice? Worst case scenario, he's the highest paid janitor in the division. Best case, he files his own 6 month notice and quits. At least taxpayers would be getting something for their extra $179,000.

Oh, and I almost forgot, the School Board paid a personnel firm, Davies Park, $77,500 in fees and disbursements to find this four-month Superintendent.

Hat Tip: Paula Simon's column in the Edmonton Journal

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