The Campbell River School District board of directors approved an administrative savings plan that will slash nearly $1.4 million from its budget over the next three years.
And it managed the savings without cutting a single job.
“Year one has been incorporated into the budget that was presented to the board and passed at its last meeting,” secretary-treasurer Kevin Patrick told the board during its final 2014-15 meeting Tuesday at the school board office.
“This is a separate plan that has to be submitted to the Ministry of Education and approved by the ministry, as well.”
The budget requires $295,000 in admin cuts next year, with additional cuts of $549,000 in both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years.
The biggest share of the first-year savings comes from $200,000 in attendance support savings, which Patrick explained is a budgeted item to provide for sick coverage that the district has not typically used in the past.
“In most years, that was $200,000 less than would have gone over to the unrestricted surplus,” he said.
Another $68,000 will come from budgeted long-term sick pay that was spent last year but is not expected to be needed in the coming years.
“We had a long-term illness last year with an excluded position and that will not continue int the new (school) year,” he said. “It’s not a reduction in a position; rather, it’s that a person who was ill is now able to return to that position.”
A further $27,000 for 2015-16 will come from savings in legal fees, partly through the combination of a new employment labour program administered through the B.C. Public School Employers’ Asssociation that has negotiated lower legal fees; a pooled fund to support various labour issues and grievances; and remaining funds not spent.
All of those savings will continue for each of the following two years, during which an additional $254,000 in cuts had to be identified.
The annual additional savings in each of those years will include:
- $60,000 in Worksafe premium reductions;
- $130,000 in reduced rates rates for gas following a rate review at Fortis;
- $34,000 from the International Studies program;
- $20,000 from copier leases; and
- $10,000 from savings in paper and printing costs.
The savings from the International Studies program include $19,000 for the program’s secretary position and another $15,000 in other administrative costs, but Patrick explained the secretary’s job was not actually being cut.
“It’s really a transfer of who is paying for it,” he said. “The International program now has the ability to cover the cost of a secretary and a portion of the administrative costs associated with community support, marketing, accounts payable and back-end office support.”
The motion was approved unanimously without board comment.