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KAMLOOPS, B.C. - School trustees should be ashamed of themselves for proposing big raises for top administrators while cutting services to students, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

School board workers will not sit idly by and watch senior administrators get fat while everyone else tightens their belts, said John Hall, secretary for CUPE Local 3500. We are going to fight this all the way.

Four months ago, the School District 73 Board of Trustees made massive cuts to balance the budget. 101 workers were cut and class sizes have increased dramatically. Five elementary schools have been closed or annexed and two high schools merged. Workloads went up for all the employee groups suffering layoffs, but salaries did not.

Now, trustees want to raise the salaries of the school Superintendent, Directors of Education and confidential secretaries. They will propose the raise at the board meeting on September 22 in Barriere.

Under the proposal the school Superintendents salary would go to $121,000 a year from $115,000, a 4.5 percent increase. Education Directors would go to $102,000 a year from $94.000, an 8.5 per cent hike. The wage proposals will need to be approved by the BC Public Employers Association.

These pay hikes are just not on, Hall said. When funding is down because enrolment is declining, why do administrators already making a big salary need to get paid more? Hall noted that this is a time of tight budgets. Class sizes are increasing, services to students are being eliminated and other employees are forced to do more with less.

He urged parents and residents to contact the school board and speak out before the Monday meeting.

Trustees need to get their priorities straight and cancel these pay hikes, Hall said. Massive cuts to services in June to balance the budget and a surplus in September for salary increases is not going to sit well with workers or parents.

Local 3500 represents about 673 custodial, clerical and support staff in Kamloops/Thompson schools.


John Hall, Local 3500, 250-377-8446