Nanaimo school trustees look at reducing administration costs

NANAIMO – Nanaimo school district will examine cuts to the number of school trustees and administration.

Nanaimo school district board will examine cuts to the number of school trustees and administration as it tries to account for a $5.4-million deficit in its 2014-15 budget.

There has been backlash as administration positions were not among 44 full-time equivalent job cuts suggested in an initial budget proposal made last week. At a meeting Tuesday night, trustees heard from students, youth care workers, custodial staff, teacher librarians, union representatives and others who could be potentially affected.

A motion for public consultation passed that could ultimately see the school board reduced to seven trustees from nine in time for November’s civic election but feedback from the public would be key, according to trustee Kim Howland, who seconded the motion.

“Under the legislation to reduce your number of board [members], you have to have a public consultation because we’re public figures,” Howland said. “We’re just wanting to support that initiative that we look at, is that what the public wants, and is it a way of cost savings as well.”

She estimated the board reduction would provide about $30,000 in savings.

The board also approved a motion directing Superintendent David Hutchinson to bring budget reduction strategies from within administration to be considered by the board’s business committee.

“For me, we know it’s going to be devastating cuts and when I saw [the initial proposal], it was glaring to me that there was another opportunity of places to look at potentially making cuts and there was just nothing there, so there may be a very good reason for it, why there wasn’t anything there, or it may be an opportunity that was overlooked,” said trustee Nancy Curley, who proposed the motion.

“Either way, I think they’ve got a chance to bring some or give us sort of an understanding of why they’re not able to bring any cuts from there,” she said.

Nanaimo District Teachers’ Association president Mike Ball was among those critical about the lack of administration cuts and said the point was made even clearer based on presentations at the meeting. He said he thinks there will be some administrative cuts offered to the school board.

“I hope they look at them, I hope that they can save some direct services positions and do the admin cuts that are needed,” he said.

Ball asked how much longer the district could continue putting forward a balanced budget while cutting services. Curley echoed his sentiments, stating that trustees are in a difficult spot but it all comes down to provincial funding.

“The trustees in each of the school districts are given the job of still trying to provide a proper education to our youth but are in an absolutely no-win situation of having to make these dramatic cuts and I think sometimes after 10 years of the kinds of cuts that we’ve seen, we’re passed the bone now, we’re into the marrow,” Curley said.

The district is hoping to have a balanced budget in time for a meeting on April 30, although June 30 is the last day for budget passage.

Just Posted

A conceptual rendering of a commercial plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road. (Town of Ladysmith image)
Commercial plaza in north end of Ladysmith passes public hearing

Councillors debate proposed land use at 1130 Rocky Creek Rd.

The Nanaimo sign at Maffeo Sutton Park could be hazardous for children, says letter writer. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Nanaimo sign will cause falls

Children can’t resist climbing on sign, says letter writer

John A. Read, who was inspired to leave his former career to become a professional astronomy by the purchase of a $13 telescope, will give beginning astronomers key pointers on how to set up and get the best performance from their instruments at Nanaimo Astronomy Society’s meeting June 24. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Read)
Astrophysicist will talk about getting the most out of a telescope at Nanaimo astronomy meeting

John Read’s purchase of a $13 telescope led to a degree in astrophysics and a career in astronomy

Nanaimo rapper Sirreal plays the Port Theatre on June 25. (Photo courtesy Alanna Morton)
Nanaimo rapper Sirreal and friends play the Port Theatre

Live-streamed concert the second in venue’s Discovery Series highlighting local artists

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement, stating that Nanaimo will see temperatures between five-10 degrees above seasonal the next two days. (News Bulletin file)
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement, stating that Nanaimo will see temperatures between five-10 degrees above normal the next two days. (News Bulletin file)
Heat wave will see Nanaimo temperatures rise 5-10 degrees above normal

Sun with highs of 28 C forecast by Environment Canada for Harbour City on Sunday and Monday

Robin Dutton, left, and Peter Sinclair are taking their mountain bikes and travelling down trails in the Mount Benson area June 19 as part of a 24-hour fundraiser benefiting Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Full-day mountain bike fundraiser gives financial support for Nanaimo food bank

Event part of Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank’s Food 4 Summer campaign

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding partnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read