April 25, 2014 - 3:48 PM
PENTICTON - The school district has proposed a plan to cut staff jobs in order to deal with the roughly $1 million deficit the district’s budget faces for the next school year.
The plan, proposed to the school board this week, includes cutting 11.5 full-time equivalent jobs — a decision that secretary-treasurer Bonnie Roller-Routley said was not easy to make.
She said the staff went through the budget “line-by-line” and found the best solution was to cut a combination of jobs, including 1.8 teaching positions, 1 principal-vice principal position, and 8.7 CUPE staff positions. Four of the 11.5 jobs were done by attrition.
Staff have already found $300,000 in the supply and services budget to put towards the deficit.
“Every cut in a district...will affect a school,” Roller-Routley said. And when 87 per cent of the budget is for staff salaries, it’s hard to make budget cuts that don’t affect positions, she said.
Roller-Routley considered different options, including making cuts to senior staff positions. However, they “didn’t feel the timing was particularly right,” she said.
“We’re very lean already,” she said of the district’s senior staff list in comparison to other districts.
After hours and hours of deliberation, senior staff proposed the new budget plan. But this doesn’t have to be the proposal the school board accepts, Roller-Routley said.
The board is expected to either accept the plan or postpone the decision so they can have more time, by next month’s board meeting on May 12. And staff are looking for feedback from the public, teachers and administrators so they can take these concerns to the board at a closed-door meeting May 7.
Whatever decision the board makes, needs to be made by June 30, the deadline to submit the plan to the Ministry of Education.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014