The supervisor who taken care of substantial-profile layoffs at the National Gallery of Canada is an outdoors advisor juggling two leadership roles for yearly service fees potentially worthy of more than the salary of the institution’s major govt.
Tania Lafrenière, the gallery’s human methods director and interim main running officer, is paid as a great deal as $306,150 a 12 months in expenses, noticeably a lot more than the salary of the last main govt, Sasha Suda. In her HR function, Ms. Lafrenière led the assembly in which Indigenous curator Greg Hill dropped his occupation very last November and presided more than a few other layoffs. In an uncommon blend of jobs, she also serves as the gallery’s No. 2 government beneath interim director Angela Cassie. And in accordance to her LinkedIn profile and web page, she maintains her have consultancy.
Paperwork obtained by means of access to information demonstrate Ms. Lafrenière is paid a day by day payment of $1,177.50 and can invoice the gallery for as numerous as 260 times a calendar year. That places her attainable annual payment as much as a 3rd larger than the total the gallery is providing a new main government and director, a position posted previous slide with a salary selection of $204,200 to $240,200. Ms. Suda, who left the gallery very last summer, was employed in 2019 in a variety up to $210,800.
Former general public-support supervisors and governance experts interviewed by The Globe questioned the knowledge of the gallery’s arrangement with Ms. Lafrenière, saying that the use of a specialist to fill important roles concentrates electricity in an personal not accountable to the group, and that the COO and HR positions should not be blended.
The gallery has been embroiled in controversy considering that November when it laid off Mr. Hill, chief curator Kitty Scott, head of conservation Stephen Gritt and communications director Denise Siele. Ms. Cassie tied the departures to the new strategic strategy, which led some critics to consider they were being determined by energy struggles over the adjustments at the gallery.
In advance of her departure, Ms. Suda released an ambitious modernization of the institution with a strategic plan committed to Indigenous awareness and group connections, but she also presided about a stream of staff departures. To further the system, she had introduced in Ms. Cassie as vice-president of strategic transformation and inclusion, and Ms. Lafrenière as vice-president of men and women, culture and belonging the two girls are now working the gallery as interim CEO and COO, respectively.
“I’m not aware of an group where you would place that significantly authority in a guide,” mentioned Richard Powers, who teaches governance at the College of Toronto’s Rotman University of Administration. “If she is functioning as an worker, she should not be paid as a guide.” He stated $1,100 a working day is a modest rate for a expert, but that consultants must be hired in the limited time period to perform on certain jobs rather than run day-to-day operations.
The gallery’s director of communications Douglas Chow defended Ms. Lafrenière’s deal, expressing she was hired as “a third-party consultant” to convey labour peace to the gallery, wherever the General public Services Alliance of Canada (PSAC) had been without a deal considering that 2019.
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He credited her with acquiring a contract signed, instituting a conflict-resolution procedure to cut union grievances and overseeing 118 new hires. “It must be pointed out that Ms. Lafrenière is assuming the interim for two senior administration positions at the VP amount. Her advisor service fees are in line with industry fees for services of this calibre and do not include workplace rewards,” he reported.
Ms. Lafrenière did not respond to a ask for for remark. She has a master’s in small business administration from Queen’s College and a very long vocation as a human-resources manager doing work beforehand with the CBC, PSAC and the Canadian Red Cross. She was the COO at Groupe Nordik, a spa company in Gatineau, Que., just before creating her consultancy in 2019.
The gallery’s decision to blend the COO and human-resources capabilities is particularly troubling, said Victor Rabinovitch, fellow at the Faculty of Coverage Experiments at Queen’s University and a previous main government of what is now the Canadian Museum of Heritage. He explained the HR director should really report to the main executive, and retain a degree of independence from functions to much better advocate for people somewhat than finances.
“The director of HR is anyone who is remarkably trusted, so that employees can go to that individual with a grievance,” he mentioned. “To combine the two, it is flabbergasting. …The terrible corporate tradition is 1 where the HR director is just an arm of the COO.”
Gallery documents demonstrate that the director of human means, dependable for labour relations, recruitment and effectiveness management, could count on to be paid out $105,000 to $149,000. The COO, responsible for all enterprise operations, strategic organizing and statutory and authorized obligations, would be paid a income ranging from $149,000 to $212,000.
Mr. Chow stated the gallery is hunting for a whole-time human-methods director, but will go away it to a new main government to approve the scope of the COO purpose ahead of a long lasting use is built for that article. He would not remark on the details of the 4 layoffs, but reported it would be the typical exercise to have Ms. Lafrenière current for these meetings.
Mr. Hill, the only staffer to focus on their scenario publicly, explained he was explained to he would eliminate his work in a conference in which Ms. Lafrenière participated by online video link. Steven Loft, the gallery’s vice-president of Indigenous strategies and decolonization, spoke to Mr. Hill but then still left the home, leaving him with Ms. Lafrenière, who outlined his severance selections. He assumed she was a gallery manager and personnel.
When it was introduced in January, 2021, that Ms. Lafrenière was signing up for the gallery, both the news release and internal communications witnessed by The Globe gave no indication she was providing her providers as a expert.
“Ms. Lafrenière will be top the Human Resources Crew by way of transformative improve,” Ms. Suda wrote in an inside e-mail, thanking her for “joining the Nationwide Gallery of Canada’s staff.”
Nevertheless, contracts in between the gallery and Lafrenière Consulting display that she experienced not joined workers but rather extended an existing arrangement.
She experienced at first signed a deal in October, 2020, to provide 88 times of do the job for $96,800, but soon following her appointment was declared it was extended to 305 times for $335,500, or $1,100 a doing the job working day.
Then, a year afterwards on Feb. 3, 2022, just after that modification expired, the gallery prolonged the contract for a further handful of months, elevating the sum to $401,400 for 365 operating days. That compensation would have included function carried out around a time period of 18 months and which now integrated the COO purpose to which she was appointed right after the retirement of David Loye in August, 2021. (The paperwork do not condition how quite a few days Ms. Lafrenière in fact billed.)
Even though the initially modification to her contract mentioned negotiations would acquire position with a look at to creating her a salaried employee, a new agreement was signed previous March for two much more many years and no for a longer period features that clause.
The quantities in that next deal are calculated on a working day fee that has risen by 7 for each cent to $1,177.50. The deal states that her costs will not exceed $612,300 for the two several years of work.