Greater Victoria school board delays pay increase vote

School District 61 trustees among the lowest paid of comparable districts

  • Oct. 23, 2013 6:00 a.m.

Greater Victoria school board trustees are waiting another month before they decide whether to bump up their pay in the face of tighter budget constraints.

Elected trustees in School District 61, which covers nearly 20,000 students in Victoria, Esquimalt, View Royal, Oak Bay and some of Saanich, haven’t seen a pay raise since 2008.

But as similar-sized school districts continue to increase trustee compensation, Greater Victoria now sits near the bottom of the pack.

For trustees like Dianne McNally, that stagnation is a good idea while provincial dollars continue to be scarce.

“For me to vote and give myself a raise, it just doesn’t sit right,” McNally said.

At just over $17,000 in annual compensation, Victoria sits last in trustee pay with comparable school districts (Victoria’s chair and vice-chair make another $3,000 and $1,500 respectively). Until 2011, Greater Victoria trustees used a pay formula that compared their expenses with similar-sized districts in Richmond, Burnaby, Langley, Abbotsford and Central Okanagan.

But in 2011, trustees decided to delay any pay increases until union bargaining agreements had been sorted out.

“We were facing teachers’ bargaining and we knew CUPE (education assistants, custodians and other support worker) was coming up, so we decided we would defer any discussion on compensation increases until those issues have been dealt with,” said Peg Orcherton, SD61 board chair.

Now, with a tentative 3.5 per cent pay increase for all CUPE employees looming over school districts, the board has to find savings within their school districts to pay those salaries.

Orcherton said trustees will have a full debate at their November meeting on the issue, but stressed the potential 10-per-cent pay increase is comparable to other school districts.

“There’s always politics around increases, but it is about comparable numbers,” she said.

By the numbers:

Victoria:

19,864 students

Trustee compensation: $17,424

Abbotsford:

19,394 students

Trustee compensation: $22,000

Langley:

19,902 students

Trustee compensation: $18,110

Burnaby:

25,023 students

Trustee compensation: $22,000

Richmond:

22,138 students

Trustee compensation: $21,692

Central Okanagan:

21,328 students

Trustee compensation: $17,870

Average trustee pay of comparable districts: $20,334

Just Posted

UPDATED: Heavy police presence in Victoria had part of Bay Street blocked off

Bay Street east of Quadra Street was blocked off on Saturday

Hundreds of foreign species still washing up on B.C. coast, eight years after tsunami

The Royal BC Museum is home to thousands of samples collected along the west coast of North America

Victoria first Canadian city to join United Nations tree planting challenge

The City of Victoria pledges to plant 5,000 trees by the end of 2020

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Most Read