Nanaimo school superintendent receives pay increase

NANAIMO – Trustees decide to update pay structure from 2011 totalling $229,360 in wages and benefits in 2016-17.

Nanaimo school district superintendent John Blain is expected to see a pay and benefits raise of about 20 per cent for the 2016-17 school year.

According to information from the school district, Blain will see his compensation increase to $229,360 in 2016-17 from $191,802 this year, which includes benefits. The superintendent’s pay structure hasn’t been updated since 2011, said Dale Burgos, school district spokesman.

The B.C. Public School Employers’ Association, which handles bargaining for B.C. boards of education, recently reviewed excluded staff compensation with help from Western Compensation and Benefits Consultants and developed pay scale for exempt staff, said Burgos.

Burgos said Blain’s salary was determined through the consultants’ analysis. It is at the mid-point of the salary range, which was determined by the region.

Steve Rae, school board chairman, said Blain has done good work and pointed to the pay freeze. The school district did its homework when coming to this decision, he said.

“We are following recommendations from the Western report and we wanted our superintendent to be paid like other superintendents are across the province, A: because he deserves it; B: moving forward that’s how you attract the best people, to be competitive and we make no apologies for it.

“It hadn’t been done for years, it needed to be done and now he is in line with his peers, where he should be,” said Rae.

The B.C. government announced a net-zero wage mandate in September 2012 and while the superintendent’s pay was exempt, the board of the time thought it necessary to include it, Burgos said.

Support worker positions were expected to be cut as part of the 2016-17 school budget and Rob Zver, support workers’ union president, said people are entitled to negotiate wages, but negotiations should be fair and what one receives, others should be looking at receiving the same.

“Anytime anybody gets an increase and it’s not budgeted, or it’s not paid for by the government, it’s got to come out of the source, so his increase had to come from the source and the source would’ve been from – based on what happened, no other group was on the block – then you can say that that wage increase came from the recipients of cuts to support staff workers,” said Zver.

For more details on the Nanaimo school district budget for 2016-17, please go here.