Friday, September 27, 2013

School District to seek guidance from Minister of Education on wage increase funding

School District 52 held its first Board meeting of 2013 on September 10th, following that return to School District business, the Board released some of the highlights of that initial session of the new school year.

Not surprisingly a fair amount of material was covered in this first gathering of the Board, high among their talking points the issue of funding of wage increases for staff and how issues of wage settlements should be funded.

Towards that question, the School District intends to write a letter to the Minister of Education asking that wage increases for staff be funded by the Ministry.

Board Chair Tina Last outlined the main scope of the Board's concerns stating "Our Board is unanimous in its view that wage increases should be funded by the Ministry of Education", further adding "We will continue to work with the Minister to achieve a fair wage increase for all of our employees".

That point of concern gained further importance on September 19th, when a tentative deal was reached in the school staff dispute, as CUPE and the BCSPEA came to terms on a new agreement, which will see a 3.5 percent wage adjustment in place running through to 2014.

The burden of the financial terms of the new contract will fall on individual school districts, with SD52 no doubt awaiting a reply and perhaps some guidance from the Minister from their most recent correspondence.

The financials were not the only concern of the School District Board at that September 10th meeting, some of the other items of note from their gathering included a report on a Student Self-Regulation Project at Ecole Roosevelt Park Community School, a program that is focused on the development of students to integrate diverse information in order to develop new skills.

As well the Board heard a review of the Camp Jupiter program over the summer which focused on helping students with identified speech and motor skill challenges.

They also received a preview on the Walk to Build Strength that took place on September 21st in the community.

The Board was also brought up to date on a wide range of projects planned for the 2013-14 school year, ranging from efforts to improve literacy, items pertaining to the issue of bullying and projects on instruction in Math, special education and social-emotional learning.

The Board also approved is Capital Budget on September 10th, the first priority being the replacement of Prince Rupert Middle School, a project that the Ministry of Education has identified as a high priority.

A second project that the Board is exploring is one that would see the School Board consolidate its Office staff in the Westview building, currently staff for SD 52 is housed in three locations.

The Board also approved an updated its Policies, with a new bylaw on Student and/or Parent Guardian Appeals, as well as new Policies in effect for Student medication, one on Anaphylaxis and approval of the District Code of Conduct Policy.

You can review the full list of deliberations from the School Board Meeting from the synopsis provided on the School District website, which you can read over here.

The School District posts both its agenda and minutes from their meetings to their website, the agenda from September 10th can be found here, the minutes have yet to be published to the website.

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