It's no surprise that CUPE and KTTA reps don't think much of a proposal to boost school trustee salaries by 8.6 per cent (7.7 for the board vice chair and 7.5 for the chair).
Those are pretty hefty increases, though by no means anything approaching record levels. The increases would put the Kamloops-Thompson board approximately in the middle of pay rates for 10 districts listed in a report revealed Monday night.
Secretary-treasurer Kelvin Stretch put the idea before the board, which wisely tabled it for discussion at another time.
Interestingly, the memo wasn't on the public agenda prior to the meeting, instead being a last-minute addition. More interestingly, it comes at a time when school district employee deals are up in the air.
To be fair, Stretch pointed out in the memo that "if trustees base the increase on compensation increases approved for other employee groups, consideration should be delayed until CUPE Local 3500, the Kamloops Thompson Principals and Vice Principals Association and the exempt staff salaries have been approved for implementation."
It didn't take much convincing for the board to see the wisdom of that option. Pay raises for politicians are sensitive at any time, but more so when easy comparisons can be made to what public servants receive.
"I think it's a bad time to be considering this since (the province is) pushing for net zero," said Jason Karpuk of the Kamloops-Thompson Teachers Association.
"And this is a volunteer job supposedly, community service, and a third of your salary is tax free," said John Hall of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, pointing out the $20,027 salary for trustees would raise them above support staff for special-needs students.
Trustees are human. They're capable of understanding the incongruity of giving themselves handsome percentage increases at a time when those who work for the system are being asked to take much less.
The true test will be what they do with the matter after those other agreements are reached.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by publisher Tim Shoults, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.