Decision on raises made easy for trustees this year

Elected officials for Okanagan Skaha have turned down pay increases for several years running on principle

Okanagan Skaha school board chairman Bruce Johnson

Okanagan Skaha school board chairman Bruce Johnson

A dip in the consumer price index left local school trustees without a basis on which to give themselves a pay raise this year, although they likely would have rejected it anyway “on principle.”

Trustees for the Okanagan Skaha School District are entitled by policy to raises tied to inflation in B.C., but a staff report presented at their regular meeting Monday showed the cost of living actually decreased by 0.1 per cent in 2013.

School board chairman Bruce Johnson said trustees would have had a tough time increasing their pay rate had they been eligible.

“Our board in the past couple of years… we’ve felt very awkward voting ourselves a raise — even if it would be a very minor one — when other staff has been frozen, when teachers and (Canadian Union of Public Employees) have been in negotiations,” he explained.

“So in the past we’ve chosen not to vote ourselves a raise, mostly on principle.”

The staff report showed that of the nine other school boards to which the Penticton-based group compares itself based on similar population numbers, just two accepted pay boosts this year.

Okanagan Skaha finance director Maureen Maywood said the board received its last raise during the 2011-12 school year.

Trustees here earn $10,620 annually, below its cohort average of $13,084, while the chairman collects $13,290, well under the group standard of $15,798.

Meanwhile, trustees also voted 4-3 to adopt a new committee meeting schedule for the 2014-15 year that  will see the monthly gatherings set for twice a month over two afternoons through November only, at which point the newly elected board can make its own arrangements.

Committee meetings had previously been scheduled over several lunch hours each month, but Trustee Tracy St. Claire pushed to have them condensed into a single afternoon in order to save the cost of providing food to those in attendance and to make the trustee’s job more appealing to working people with busy schedules.

St. Claire was unsuccessful Monday in her bid to keep the meetings to one day, despite noting that only rarely do all four committee meet each month.

“If you’re looking to have people commit to run in the next election… I think they’re well served to know what the commitment is,” she said.

“And if the commitment’s going to be two short days, that looks a lot different to people with jobs than one longer day.”

Trustees Johnson, St. Claire and Linda Beaven were the three votes in opposition to the new schedule.

 

 

Just Posted

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Black smoke can be seen rising from the mountain

Keremeos’ heritage Grist Mill and Gardens. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)
Keremeos Grist Mill looking forward to restrictions easing with exclusive concert planned

Juno Award-winning folk artist Valdy is set to take the stage

Letter writer says COVID has created lots of newbie cyclists who don't know rules of cycling. (File photo)
LETTER: Newbie cyclists in Penticton need lessons on rules of the road

Penticton cycling group just received city funding, should give back by offering how-to lessons

No dental coverage for low income Canadians. (File photo)
OPINION: Penticton MP’s proposal for universal dental coverage rejected

One in 3 Canadians have no dental coverage, with COVID making it even worse

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

More flames
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

A boat sharing service is extending to Summerland. The company, Penticton Boat Club and Rentals, is also taking over the boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort. (Photo by Chris Stenberg)
Boat sharing service extended from Penticton to Summerland

Company will also operate boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Most Read