Terrace Standard

School board protests wage plan (with documents)

The Coast Mountains School District (CMSD) has sent a letter to education minister Don McRae in response to the Ministry of Education's last-minute request to find money for employee pay raises within the school district's current budget.

In early Dec. 2012, a written request from education minister Don McRae went out to all provincial school districts asking them to find 1.5 per cent within their current budgets.

The money would then be used to help settle a contract with K-12 support staff across the province.

McRae gave school boards until the middle of January to find the money which would amount to approximately $1.5 million for the local school district over the next two years.

But school districts are pushing back, with the CMSD joining other districts in the province writing letters to the ministry protesting the request, stating it is impossible to comply with, especially under such a short time frame.

The letter from the CMSD, dated Dec. 21 and signed by board chair Art Erasmus on behalf of the school trustees, states the board "will find it very difficult and unreasonable to find savings that meet the constraints imposed by this mandate."

"The board believes a wage increase for its support staff, in addition to wage increases for all of our other employee groups is warranted. However, the plan to fund salary increases through savings in out sector without reducing service levels or transferring costs to the public, is not feasible."

The CMSD voted unanimously to write the letter at the Dec. 19 board meeting.

Find the full text of the letter above.

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