Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ business committee is recommending a one-time remuneration increase, which will take effect when the next school board is elected. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Nanaimo-Ladysmith school trustees to vote for wage increase, but for next board

Business committee recommendation to go before trustees at March 11 meeting

While Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools trustees are expected to vote on wage increases at an upcoming meeting, it will be for the next elected board and not the current one.

Currently, the board chairperson is compensated $20,470 annually, while trustees receive $18,470, but at the district business committee meeting last Wednesday, trustees debated whether to increase chairperson pay to $22,828 a year, establish an annual rate of $21,828 for the vice-chairperson and increase trustee pay to $20,828. Ultimately, the committee recommended raises take effect for the next board and in addition, a committee on remuneration and expense allowances be established.

Charlene McKay, board chairwoman, said the remuneration motion was put together based on various feedback, but after reviewing it, she would not support it and introduced amendments. It has been an ongoing issue and the board needs to decide how to move forward, she said.

RELATED: Nanaimo school trustees to examine wage increase, benefits

RELATED: Nanaimo trustees look at raise to offset tax adjustments

Stephanie Higginson said she struggled with the increased pay, whether it was now or for future boards. She said the increase “far outweighs” the school district’s unionized employees’ two-per cent increase for three years.

“I do not believe that we should be making motions about our own pay, so while trustee McKay’s proposal will deal with that particular issue, I think that the amounts that are suggested are well outside of what we have asked our unionized employees to take…” Higginson said. “We need to take into consideration that we did last January give ourselves a raise as well, although it was in relation to [an income tax] increase so our take-home was still the same. If we give ourselves another raise, then we’re almost looking at about a 20 per cent raise in just under a year.”

While trustee Jessica Stanley said the timing is terrible, with teachers negotiating for a new deal, she would argue for the increase. Trustees are not exceptionally well paid for the work they do, she said.

“I want to put [teacher bargaining] aside not out of disrespect, but just out of the fact that I think the work we do is valuable and I think the work of representation is valuable,” said Stanley. “I am concerned that when we ask people to represent us in a community, if we expect it to be a low-paid or volunteer-type thing then … you’re only going to get the privileged to represent you in those positions of decision-making processes and I frankly don’t want the rich and privileged to be the only people that make decisions about governance. I want governance to reflect the diversity of people in our community.”

Recommendations related to establishment of a trustee group benefit plan were taken off the table at the suggestion of Taunia Sutton, district director of finance, who said staff wanted more time to review related information.

The regular board meeting takes place Wednesday, March 11.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

No more ferries will sail from Departure Bay, Mill Bay, Brentwood Bay during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Ferries announces major changes to sailing schedules for 60 days starting Saturday, April 4

Suspect arrested after allegedly setting house fire in Cedar

Firefighters arrived to find mobile home ablaze on Barnes Road on Thursday

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Ongoing list of Ladysmith COVID-19 cancellations and closures

Everything in Ladysmith that has been impacted by COVID-19

Woman arrested in Nanaimo after attempted RV break-in with owner inside

Incident happened April 1 in the 700 block of Drake Street

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

Most Read