(News Bulletin file)

With tax changes coming, Nanaimo school trustees debate pay raise

New Canada Revenue Agency taxation for school trustees takes effect in January

Adjustments to trustees’ pay was one of the first agenda items to come to the table for members of the school district’s business committee.

With new tax laws taking effect in 2019, increasing board pay to account for changes was discussed by Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ business committee last Wednesday.

Currently, a third of school trustee remuneration isn’t taxable, as the Canada Revenue Agency deems it an expense allowance, but that will change in January, when the full amount will be taxable. The CRA told the News Bulletin the exemption for non-accountable allowances paid to certain public officials provides an advantage not enjoyed by other Canadians. As such, these amounts will be required to be included as income.

As it stands, the board chairperson receives $19,070 annually, while trustees are paid $17,070 annually, but a staff report suggests that a one-time increase to $20,470 for chairperson and $18,470 for trustees would mitigate the loss of money, Carrie McVeigh, school district secretary-treasurer, said at the meeting.

“Our payroll department ran some numbers based on annual current remuneration and if we adjust it by $1,400 a year … it wouldn’t have a negative impact on trustees, bearing in mind that the only way we were able to do this was simply to take the annual salary, apply basic personal tax amount and every trustee is going to have different exemptions or claims that would vary this to quite a degree, so that’s the only way we could do it to make it consistent,” said McVeigh.

Trustees had varying opinions. Elaine Wilkinson said she wasn’t comfortable voting for a raise so soon after the October election. Jessica Stanley agreed, but said she was in favour of the move as trustees are losing pay and put in a lot of time and effort, she said.

“I know from a professional perspective, I could make a lot more money if I was working in my professional capacity (clinical psychology), said Stanley. “But I feel that doing this work is of importance to our community … I think that it’s important that we value that job and that work and I think that’s relevant for all politicians. Unfortunately politician can be a dirty word and they can be viewed negatively, especially if they’re viewed as lining their own pockets, but I would suggest that when we’re paid fairly little for an important job, and then what we’re looking at is being paid less for what I believe to be an important job, I am concerned that what we’d subsequently be doing is undermining the value of the position and the capacity to draw people of appropriate level of skills and educational background.”

Another consideration, according to McVeigh, was that previous trustees were afforded group benefits, via B.C. Public Sector Employers’ Association, which negotiates for school boards in teacher-related bargaining issues. That has been discontinued in 2015 as BCPSEA stated in 2015 that trustees are not considered employees – returning trustees will continue receiving benefits, but new trustees will not.

The recommendation was deferred and will be brought back in January to address both remuneration and benefits.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

On Remembrance Day, community pledges never to forget

Images from Remembrance Day ceremonies in Lantzville on Monday, Nov. 11

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: B.C. missing out on ship-building industry

B.C. now losing out on the economic benefit of building ferries, says letter writer

Highland dancer wins North American junior title

Annalise Lam leads Brigadoon Dance Academy contingent in U.S. competition

VIU graphic design students propose less wasteful packaging in new exhibition

‘Unwrapped’ show is on display at the school’s View Gallery until Dec. 1

Cadets begin 24-hour honour guard at Nanaimo cenotaph

Remembrance Day ceremony to be held Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. at Dallas Square

Barsby shut down in football playoffs

AA varsity team eliminated, AA junior varsity team still in contention

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Dozens of planes went down on Vancouver Island training for war

Exhibit at Vancouver Island Military Museum depicts dangers of flying B.C. coast during war years

Man seriously injured after shock and fall from electrical tower in Nanaimo

20-year-old was being transported to hospital in Victoria

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Most Read