The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District has put together a new draft policy for trustee pay.
“Boards always wrestle with this,” board chair Mike Murray said in discussing the new policy.
He said the draft, which will be considered by trustees at their meeting tonight, contains some key principles, including that the new remuneration be set prior to school board elections. So, pay will be set by an outgoing board, for an incoming trustees.
They currently earn approximately $18,400 per year, plus expenses.
The board voted in October 2011 to give the incoming board a two-per-cent raise.
“It’s pretty reasonable compensation, I think,” Murray said.
The new policy on trustee remuneration would set the annual rate based on comparisons to nine Lower Mainland school districts, including Coquitlam, Surrey, Langley and Abbotsford.
It will be reviewed every three years, before elections.
New with the policy, there will also be an annual adjustment on July 1 of each year for coast of living, based on the Metro Vancouver Consumer Price Index. The board will debate whether to make the adjustment each year at an open meeting, prior to June 30.
In recognition of the added responsibilities of the chairperson and vice-chairperson, their remuneration will have an additional $3,000 and $1,500 per year respectively, above the base trustee rate.
Trustees will also be allowed to participate in extended health, dental, life insurance and other benefits offered to district employees, provided they pay 100 per cent of the costs.
The coverage would only be available during their term, expiring when their service ended.
The draft policy has not yet been approved.
Whether it is or not, Murray said he expects the board will be looking at another inflationary increase for the incoming board.