The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is still overspending on small jobs, according to a report in the Toronto Star.  

It took one crew seven hours to hang three pictures, at a cost of $286.

Overall, the Star found that the TDSB spent $158 million on 293,000 work orders in two years. The jobs included construction and maintenance work– like hanging photos and cutting keys – in the board’s 600 elementary and secondary schools.

The TDSB has an exclusive contract with Maintenance and Construction Skilled Trades Council (MCSTC) — a company made up of almost 900 electricians, plumbers, carpenters and maintenance workers paid as TDSB employees.

According to the deal, even projects worth more than $1.5 million or which require special skills must be done by members of affiliated unions.

Earlier this year, the newspaper found schools had paid workers $143 to screw a pencil sharpener to a bookshelf; $3,000 to install an electrical outlet in a library; $19,000 to put up a sign in front of a building; and $250,000 to build a small prep kitchen to make breakfast for students.

In response to that story, the board “reorganized,” centralized payments and was part of a fall ministry review, TDSB education director Chris Spence said.

“We treat this very seriously and we want to make sure that we are spending our taxpayer dollars in a responsible way,” he told CityNews in July.