No jobs sacrificed to achieve $1.4 million in savings

Campbell River school board spreads administrative cuts over three years to achieve goal

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.