April 29, 2015 - 4:28 PM
KELOWNA - A pay raise negotiated last year by Hugh Gloster, the superintendent of schools for the Central Okanagan School District, was long-overdue and well within the normal range for the educational sector, according to the school board chair.
“His contract was up for renewal July 1 and we did negotiate a pay raise with him,” Moyra Baxter says. “He was quite far behind. He has not had a raise since becoming superintendent five years previously and he received the same rate as the previous superintendent who also had not had a raise for some time.”
Baxter says Gloster now makes $176,742 a year, a jump of $22,000. That raise is offset by an $8,500 annual car allowance the superintendent asked to give up during negotiations.
Calls requesting an interview with Gloster were not returned.
Adminstrative wages in most provincial government sectors had been frozen since 2009, but Baxter says that restriction was removed several years ago for superintendents when the Ministry of Education realized it was having trouble attracting new people to vacant positions.
“We found that out in the past when trying to fill senior positions,” Baxter says. “When they find out the salary, they say they can make more than that in the private sector.”
Baxter says the contract was negotiated during in-camera meetings but that it was included as public information in the district’s statement of financial information for 2014.
“It was done the way that a board of directors would always negotiate a new contract,” she says. “All negotiations of this sort are done behind closed doors but we were pretty transparent.”
Baxter criticized the adminstrative salary freeze as limiting the district in hiring senior staff and distorting the pay scales.
“We have teachers who are union and at the top of the scale who are making almost as much as a vice-president, who has added responsibilities and who have to work different hours."
The school district is facing a $1.5-million shortfall in its 2015 budget of $220 million, but Gloster’s raise was negotiated well before the contract settlement with striking teachers last fall, which senior school district staff have criticized as the root cause of this year’s budget crunch.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015