Winnipeg school divisions spending less on admin, but superintendent salaries rising

As school divisions across the province pass their budgets for the 2019/20 year, many are looking at cutting costs.The matter of administrative costs has been particularly notable, since the Manitoba government warned of claw-backs if boards raised property taxes above their capped rate of two per cent.READ MORE: Pallister government warns of admin cuts to school boards who ignore tax capGlobal News poured over previous budget documents from the six school divisions in the city and found that while divisions continue to spend less of their overall budgets on administration, the salaries of their superintendents are climbing.For example, in the 2009/2010 school year, Winnipeg School Division’s admin costs took up three percent of the budget. For the 2016/2017 year it dropped to 2.7 per cent.Meanwhile, Chief Superintendent Pauline Clarke’s salary climbed about 27 per cent in five years. In 2012 she was pulling in $209,756. It rose to $266,040 in 2017.Superintendent salaries rise from 2012 – 2017:St. James-Assiniboia Chief Superintendent: $166,768 to $180,114Louis Riel School Division Superintendent of Schools: $208,506 to $227,332WSD Chief Superintendent: $209,756 to $266,040Pembina Trails: $174,231 to $193,775River East Transcona: $152,776 to $198,992Seven Oaks: $186,699 to $196,979Story continues below
Not only does each school division have a head superintendent, they also have assistant superintendents. The combined superintendents and assistant superintendent salaries for all six school divisions cost taxpayers a total of $4,309,120 in 2017.READ MORE: Winnipeg school budgets: What does your school superintendent make?Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen said it’s important to look at the value we are getting for our tax dollars.“I think that taxpayers would expect that superintendents, because they have an important job, would be paid fairly. I think what’s been happening over the last little while is that fairly has become a little more exorbitant. That’s where I would encourage not just school divisions but anyone in the public service to be mindful of that and to be careful of that,” he said.“Where are you spending your money is important and it signals where your values are. If you’re spending it all on top-end administration then I think it can say a lot of signals of what is valued in the individual divisions.”

Top: Pauline Clarke (WSD), Brett Lough (SJSD), Brian O’Leary (Seven Oaks)Bottom: Kelly Barkman (RETSD), Chrisitan Michalik (LRSD), Ted Fransen (PTSD)

Top: Pauline Clarke (WSD), Brett Lough (SJSD), Brian O’Leary (Seven Oaks)Bottom: Kelly Barkman (RETSD), Chrisitan Michalik (LRSD), Ted Fransen (PTSD)For comparison, Premier Brian Pallister’s most recent salary disclosure shows he’s making $160,411 while Mayor Brian Bowman pulled in $185,870.While making their budgets this year some school division trustees were vocal saying the province was forcing divisions to make tough choices to balance the budgets.Listen: CJOB host Hal Anderson questions Wasyliw about WSD’s claims of povertyView link »