Campbell River Board of Education members are getting a raise this year. Trustees unanimously voted to adopt the increase in remuneration, which is based on a 15-year-old formula.
That calculation was developed by a community-based committee in 2005. So rather than trustees deciding their own pay each year, it is set instead by the formula which takes into consideration the average paid to school trustees across Vancouver Island as well as the projected student enrollment for the district. It gets updated annually.
“This committee that was formed, was a long-time in coming. Before that, it’s a really hard question to give yourself a raise,” said Trustee Daryl Hagen. “We kind of prided ourselves as being the lowest-paid trustees around for years. But that wasn’t fair to people who have to make time commitments and take time away from their families, and so we felt it was best to hand if off.
“Instead of trustees saying ad hoc what they feel a raise should look like, that an independent body could examine and compare various districts so that we were in line with others around us and weren’t being outrageous and would remove the stigma of giving yourself a raise.”
The formula would see trustees Shannon Briggs, Kat Eddy, Daryl Hagen, Joyce McMann and Susan Wilson get an increase of $812 to $13,665 from $12,853; vice-chair John Kerr would get $14,641 from $13,889, an increase of $752; while chair Richard Franklin would receive an increase of $877 to $16,033 from $15,156.
Kerr didn’t think the remuneration was out of line.
“If I’ve read the figures, correctly, with this increase, we will be third from the bottom in trustee remuneration, above Vancouver Island North and Vancouver Island West, which are considerably smaller districts than ours,” he said. “I also note that the demands and the complexity of the position seem to have grown over the almost six years that I’ve been on the board.”
The remunerations are among the lowest in Vancouver Island school districts. Chairs and vice-chairs in SD84 (Vancouver Island West) and SD85 (Vancouver Island North) make slightly less, while trustees in those districts as well as SD70 (Port Alberni) earn less as well.
Trustee Eddy said that while she felt “squeamish” approving her own raise, she believes it’s important to stay on par with raises to entice new talent to the Board of Education.
“If we aren’t maintaining remuneration package that allows for the time invested, it may be more difficult to recruit people and new ideas to our Board of Education.”
The remuneration goes into effect July 1, 2020.
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