March 29, 2019
Application for Exemption under s. 7 of the Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act
As you are likely aware, many of our members have recently received notice that their personal information, including name, position and salary, may be subject to disclosure pursuant to the Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act.
In December of 2016, the Provincial Government enacted the Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act (the Act), which requires the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District, as a “public body” to provide for publication of the names, positions, and remuneration of all employees, including NLTA members, who earn more than $100,000 in each calendar year, unless they meet certain criteria for exemption.
We understand, from speaking with our members, that the publication of such private information will have an adverse impact on some teachers’ ability to provide valuable services to the public, and may place their safety and health at risk.
As a result, the NLTA is prepared to represent and assist its affected members in applying for an exemption under s.7 of the Act. That section permits the Director of the School District to exempt information from disclosure where he “is of the opinion that the information could reasonably threaten the safety or mental or physical health of the employee”. In our view, the release of this information regarding teachers may, for some, be likely to threaten their safety and health. Every year, a number of Association members have been successful in having their information exempted from disclosure by making such an argument – notably in circumstances where teachers were able to demonstrate that instances that would reasonably constitute a “threat to safety” and/or “threat to mental or physical health” had already occurred and/or were likely to occur again. It is also important to note that members whose reported annual income was affected by a lump sum repayment from the Deferred Salary Leave Program (members who withdrew from the DSLP prior to taking their year of leave) were also granted exemptions.
In the event that the Director denies an application for exemption, the NLTA will assist you in appealing the decision to the Treasury Board.
To that end, we direct you to the prescribed Exemption Application form, which we ask you to complete, identifying the ground(s) for the exemption which you feel applies to you:
A link to this form was also included in the notice you would have recently received from the District.
In describing the threat to your safety or mental or physical health, please keep in mind that, since teachers interact with the public in communities across this Province (particularly in economically disadvantaged areas) they are especially exposed to the public’s reaction to perceived economic inequality. Teachers are well-known in their communities, and allowing their names and salaries to be identified may unfairly put them, and potentially their families, in harm’s way while attempting to complete their important duties. Please describe if/how you feel disclosure would threaten your safety and that of your family and/or property, your mental health, and/or your physical health. Again, providing specific examples of how this has already occurred and is likely to occur again would certainly assist in this argument.
We also direct you to the Proof of Authority form, which you must complete in order to authorize the NLTA to represent you and act on your behalf with respect to an application for an exemption:
The forms, along with links to the legislation, government policy and an “FAQ” document can also be accessed here (they are located at/near the bottom of the website):
We would ask that you complete the enclosed forms, detailing the grounds on which you are seeking an exemption. If you would like assistance or advice in completing the Application form, please contact the NLTA and ask to speak with an Administrative Officer in Programs and Services. As per regulations, your Application for Exemption must be submitted to the District by Tuesday, April 16th, 2019.
For NLESD teachers who wish to apply for an exemption from disclosure, you must submit the completed forms via email directly to Ed Walsh, Assistant Director of Education (Human Resources) – firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you submit your completed forms to Mr. Walsh, please copy or forward the email to Ian Crewe, NLTA Programs and Services Administrative Officer – email@example.com.
If you are unsure if the total compensation you earned in 2018 was over $100,000 you should refer to your 2018 T4 slip from the NLESD. If you do not apply for an exemption, and your total compensation from the District for the 2018 taxation year was more than $100,000, your information will be published.
If you have any questions or need assistance in this matter please contact Ian Crewe, NLTA Administrative Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 709-733-3232, 1-800-563-3599 ext. 232.