May 05, 2015 - 7:31 PM
KELOWNA - Central Okanagan school trustees, perhaps mindful of how it could be perceived during a budget deficit year, turned down the chance last week of giving themselves a raise.
“I think trustees thought, in a time of budget constraints, that it was a bad idea,” school board chair Moyra Baxter says.
Baxter still believes the board needs to adopt a formula to calculate annual pay increases, even though she also voted to leave their pay as it stands.
“I know in the future that this board or another board will have to deal with it and it will only get harder,” Baxter says.
School district staff had prepared a report outlining three possible annual formulas for trustee consideration. The most expensive option would have added $20,000 to the 2016 budget but Baxter says her fellow trustees were clearly uncomfortable with the idea. School trustees currently make between $17,870 and $20,148.
At the same meeting, trustees voted to accept a preliminary budget for 2015 which included $1.5 million in cuts and revenue increases to its $220 million budget.
Staff are predicting a similar budget deficit for 2016, meaning trustee pay is unlikely to be considered next year either, Baxter adds.
“Is it political? I would say yes, partly because it’s trustees voting on their own indemnity,” she says. “If the board puts it up, that becomes the headline, which is why it would be so much better if there was a formula in place and it just rolled over every year. If trustees wanted, they could also vote to not take the raise for a year.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015