School District 27 trustees discuss how to reduce remuneration for absentee trustees at the last meeting Tuesday evening.

School District 27 trustees discuss how to reduce remuneration for absentee trustees at the last meeting Tuesday evening.

Board tackles trustee absenteeism

Trustees in attendance at the School District 27 (SD 27) board meeting voted unanimously to move forward with changes.

Trustees in attendance at Tuesday evening’s monthly School District 27 (SD 27) board meeting voted unanimously to move forward with changes in how the elected officials are remunerated.

Trustees had previously directed district staff to review and address the policy which outlines the way trustees are paid to better compensate those trustees who regularly attend meetings, and to take away payment from those who don’t.

As it is currently set up, trustees get paid a stipend whether they attend meetings or not.

“Any time we add clarity to a policy it makes it easier,” said Board Chair Tanya Guenther. “(This will) address and more clearly define what the previous board added to the policy.”

Secretary-Treasurer Kevin Futcher said staff worked within the current budget of about $110,000 per year remuneration for the trustees to make changes that would see the board chair’s base remuneration reduced from $16,000 to $13,000, the vice chair reduced from $13,500 to $10,500 and trustees from $12,500 to $9,000.

The wording changes to the proposed policy would then see trustees who attend meetings compensated per meeting, which should bring their honorariums back up to what they are currently being compensated.

“I am thankful for it, and it will look good on this board if we change some of this up,” said Board Vice-Chair Christine Dyment.

Nominations for Zone 7 (west of Williams Lake) for former trustee Joyce Cooper’s position is open Dec. 6 to 16. Cooper had been absent for much of the year. Jan. 21 is voting day for the by-election.

Trustee Brice O’Neill made the original motion in September to revise the remuneration policy in the name of fiscal responsibility.

Zone 3 (District of 100 Mile House) Trustee Chris Pettman was absent from both meetings in which changes to the policy were discussed.