Okanagan-Skaha trustees give themselves a raise

By a narrow margin, Trustees for the Okanagan Skaha School District gave themselves a raise this week.

By a narrow margin, Trustees for the Okanagan Skaha School District gave themselves a raise this week.

The 1.1 per cent pay hike, which comes into effect in September 2015, passed by a 4-3 vote, with Trustees Bruce Johnson, Barb Sheppard and Bill Bidlake opposed.

Johnson repeated his concerns that in light of ongoing cuts to the school district budget and an ongoing wage freeze for administrative staff, this was not the right time for trustees to give themselves a raise.

“With all the cuts we are making, this is not necessary,” said Johnson, adding that he doesn’t feel comfortable with a raise until the Ministry of Education chooses to fully fund existing wage agreements and releases the freeze on administrative and excluded staff.

Johnson also declared that if the raise was voted through, he would donate his share to help pay for administering the local bursary foundations, a move that was echoed by Bidlake.

Trustee Shelley Clarke pointed out that in her nine years as a trustee, she only had one raise. Unlike some of the other trustees, she pointed out that she did not have a pension income, and therefore counted on her trustee pay to help provide for her family.

Former chair Ginny Clarke said the scarcity of increases went back further. Prior to 2003, she said they had gone 13 years without an increase and they had been sporadic since.

Derek Hurst, chair of the District Parent Advisory Committee, supported the pay increase.

“You need to feel good about paying people what they are worth,” he told the board, adding that fair pay is needed to attract good people to the job. “You get what you pay for.”

The current rate of pay for a trustee is $10,620 and $13,290 for the board chair, based on a September to June year. Van Alphen said the raise amounts to a $15/month increase for her, and about $12/month for trustees.


Just Posted

Geordie Fife exits the dunk tank during 2017’s Discovery House Father’s Day festivities at Skaha Lake Park. The fundraiser helps raise awareness of the work done at the house and break down the stigma associated with addiction. (Western News File)
Discovery House Father’s Day fundraiser goes digital

The addiction recovery program will be rolling out videos ahead of the fundraiser

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
Five-storey building proposed for Penticton’s Front Street

It will be the second time the proposal will head to council

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from St. Eugene’s residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Most Read