Despite high inflation, pay for school board trustees in Greater Victoria will likely not see the high increases that have been seen elsewhere in the province.
Back in December, Abbotsford school board trustees were defending the decision of the previous board to increase pay by nearly a one-quarter.
Abbotsford trustees have been receiving $25,810 annually for the last four years. The board’s vice-chair was receiving $28,400 and the chair was receiving $32,270. Now with the increase coming into effect, trustees will receive $32,128 annually. The board’s vice-chair will receive $36,947 and the chair will receive $41,766.
Trustees in SD61 and SD62 have their increase tied to the Consumer Price Index for Victoria and are passed during the school board’s budgetary process. SD63’s increases are determined through its CUPE collective agreements for support staff.
Greater Victoria School District (SD61)
SD61 is currently in the middle of its budgetary process for the 2023-24 school year so the increase for trustee pay is yet to be determined, according to Lisa McPhail, spokesperson for SD61.
Currently, trustees are paid $24,963, the vice-chair $26,463 and $27,963 for the board chair. Last year trustees were paid $24,644.35, the vice-chair $25,539.35, and the board chair was paid $26,414.35 in 2021-22. Pay is reviewed annually and any increases will come into effect on Jan. 1.
Pay is adjusted on an annual basis to reflect the inflation rate according to Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Index.
Sooke School District (SD62)
Back in January of last year, SD62 adopted a new remuneration policy and upped trustee pay to $19,500 effective July 1, 2022. Pay is reviewed every year based on CPI, though SD62 board chair Ravi Parmar said trustees may opt to not follow the CPI increase if it’s a significant jump, depending on a variety of factors like provincial funding and plans for the district’s capital budget.
Parmar added that there were times in the past years when the district has fallen behind others when it comes to trustee pay, in part “because funds were tight.”
“The boards of previous times that I got a chance to be a part of and previous to me had a lot of retirees on the board and obviously individuals who have done well in their wealth in their income,” Parmar said.
“So our hope is always to be in a position in which remuneration obviously allows an ability for a trustee to be able to continue being employed and supplement any lost income they may have their duties as a trustee.”
Saanich School District (SD63)
Trustees are looking at a pay increase of around four per cent, according to the CUPE provincial framework agreement’s inflationary increase, though the new CUPE Collective agreement has not been adopted yet. That’s a bigger increase than last year, when pay was bumped by 2 per cent effective July 1, 2021.
Currently, the board chair is paid $19,944, the vice-chair gets $18,308 and trustees are paid $17,036.
Trustee pay is reviewed annually and increases by no less than the economic increase to CUPE support staff wages in any year.
“The Board has not contemplated wage adjustments beyond these economic (i.e. inflationary) adjustments during the past four years,” secretary-treasurer for Saanich Schools Jason Reid wrote in an email.