‘I believe you were not doing your job’: EMSB votes to dock chair’s salary over prolonged absence
English Montreal School Board (EMSB) chairperson Angela Mancini was in the hot seat Monday evening, as school commissioners gathered for a special meeting to address Mancini’s prolonged absence from board-related functions.
On Friday, Mancini attended an EMSB event at a school in Hampstead; it was her first public appearance since last October.
During the time Mancini was absent, she was sanctioned by the ethics commissioner and told to apologize for those ethics violations.
The Quebec government also launched two investigations into the board.
As the meeting got underway, Commissioner Bernie Praw pulled no punches, accusing Mancini of failing to do her job and presenting a motion to cut her salary.
“You have been absent from these meetings since October 24, you have missed up to now 14, 15, 16 events, occurrences, meetings where you as a chairman should have been present,” he said.
“Therefore, I believe you were not doing your job.”
Praw said that while it pained him to present such a motion, he felt he was acting for the good of the board, the employees, and students.
Mancini shot back, explaining she had been sick leave since Nov. 19 and deplored being forced to discuss her private life in public.
“I can’t even believe I have to stand in front of an audience, including cameras, to talk about my private life, but I’m doing it,” she said.
Manicini countered that of the 16 events she is being accused of missing, 10 took place during her sick leave, while the others were not mandatory for her to attend.
She then took aim at other board members, pointing out when they had failed to attend important meetings.
Mancini also pointed to prior discussions where it was decided that commissioners’ salaries would not be docked for absences.
Mancini likened the proposed salary cut to “harassment and intimidation in the highest degree.”
The back-and-forth continued for the better part of an hour and throughout the bickering, there were calls for Mancini’s resignation.
WATCH: EMSB chairperson Angela Mancini should resign, argue commissioners
Ultimately, the board voted to cut Mancini’s salary to $10,000, but Mancini refused to step down.
After the meeting, Mancini expressed hope the board would come together and put the infighting aside, to focus on more important challenges.
“We should be banding together against the government,” she said referring to the Coalition Avenir Quebec’s plan to abolish school boards. “This is the English sector, the whole essence of our democratic process that we have right now is at risk and all we can do is bicker on whether or not we get along with each other.”
— With files from Global’s Elysia Bryan-Baynes
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