Raising trustee pay issue – again

On July 9, Kamloops-Thompson trustees voted to table a motion proposing 8.6 per cent pay hikes for trustees. But the issue is not over yet

Kamloops-Thompson school district trustees aren’t getting a raise – not yet, anyway.

At the board of education’s regular meeting of July 9, trustees voted to table a motion proposing 8.6 per cent pay hikes for trustees.

But, the issue – which also proposed raises of 7.7 per cent for vice-chair and 7.6 per cent for chair – is not over yet.

Board chairwoman Denise Harper said she plans to add the motion to the agenda of a trustee workshop later this summer, but not because she’s looking for a raise.

Harper is worried stagnant salaries could create problems for the school district in the future – if other districts keep increasing their trustee remuneration.

And, she’s not alone.

Trustee Gerald Watson also expressed his concern with leaving trustee compensation as is.

The Kamloops-Thompson school district has a policy on the books requiring an annual review – at the end of each school year – of pay rates for trustees in 10 comparable districts.

From those numbers, the policy dictates, trustees should find the middle ground and adjust salaries as necessary.

Last year, because of ongoing education-sector labour issues and a lagging economy, the district broke from policy and chose not to increase salaries.

This year, Watson said, it appears the same thing is going to happen again.

“I’m comfortable with the pay rate I have right now,” he told KTW.

“But, I’m uncomfortable just leaving it.

“From a policy perspective, I don’t think it’s a great idea.”

Watson said future boards could be left in the lurch.

“The policy was set up in order to keep us out of the position of being out of step with the other school districts,” he said.

– Tim Petruk – Kamloops This Week