School trustees vote selves pay raise

Recommendation for increase in remuneration forwarded by independent community committee

Campbell River School District trustees voted themselves a pay raise the places their remuneration in the average range for trustees at other districts across Vancouver Island.

The new remuneration will take effect beginning July 1.

“Most of the (Island’s) school districts are higher, but they also have more students,” secretary-treasurer Kevin Patrick said in answer to a question posed during Tuesday’s school board meeting at the district board office. “The way it’s structured between average remuneration and per-student remuneration, it does mean the school district will not be at the top of the scale. It does mean it will be in-between, right in the middle.”

The raise results from a

The new annual pay for the board chair will be $13,142, an increase of $468. The remuneration for the vice-chair will go to $11,763, an increase of $757; and the rate for trustees goes to $11,096, a bump of $767 each.

Those figures are based on the recommendation of an independent, community-base committee, originally formed in 2005 to remove the burden of school board members having to determine their own compensation.

The committee performs an annual review each April to examine information from other school districts and from the BC School Trustees’ Association and arrive at a fair formula for compensation.

“This formula hasn’t always recommended an increase,” said Patrick. “It once recommended a decrease, which the board accepted at that time.”

Two years ago, the Campbell River school board declined a recommended raise, but did accept an increase of approximately $200 last year.

“I think last year (sic) and the year before we decided not to accept the increase as recommended in respect for the unsettled agreement for teachers,” trustee Joyce McMann said. “I recognize there’s a point at which we can’t create that much difference in remuneration without creating a big gap, but I think this year we can’t consider it without recognizing the fact that our exempt staff has been going how long without any ability to improve their remuneration.”

Board vice-chair Ted Foster asked Patrick to verify that the formula simply keeps local trustees’ pay at the 50th percentile of that given to trustees throughout similar districts.

“So, over the next year, if we fall behind the average again, we never get above 50 per cent. Is that correct?” Foster asked.

“It’s based on trustee compensation per student,” Patrick answered, “so larger districts will have higher remuneration and smaller districts will also have smaller remuneration. It’s not just an average; it is a weighted average.”

Trustee Richard Franklin put an end to the debate by simply stating, “I move that we approve.”

Trustees then voted to approve the new remuneration, with McMann abstaining.

Notes: North Vancouver Island MLA Claire Trevena and Speaker of the House Linda Reid will visit several schools June 8-9 as part of a parliamentary education program, superintendent Tom Longridge informed the board.

They will share parliamentary lessons at Cedar, Quadra and Sayward schools before going on to Port Hardy.