Letters: Thanks, teachers and CUPE

I would like to correct a few statements made by school board chair Mike Murray.

Editor, The News:

Re: ‘Other trustees get more’ (Letters, Oct. 31).

I would like to correct a few statements made by school board chair Mike Murray.

He is adamant that the various school districts the trustees used to compare trustee stipends to  is fair and reasonable.

The problem is that if one analyzes the list of school districts the trustees used, they are all much larger than SD No. 42 and should arguably have a larger stipend.

It is quite misleading, Mr. Murray, if you don’t compare apples to apples when making decisions about your own remuneration.

To complicate things, trustees used the Delta School District in their deliberations, erroneously calling it a smaller district than SD No. 42, thereby skewing the data even further.

In regards to education assistants being added to schools, it is not the trustees we need to thank for the addition of these positions. It is the continued efforts of teachers and CUPE who have fought and continue to fight for the meager resources needed to support our students.

Mr. Murray reminds us that the trustees wrote letters to government while teachers were on strike. What remains egregious to teachers is that the trustees asked for the final contract to be “affordable to citizens,” as if it is the role of trustees to monitor the provincial purse.

Is it not the role of trusteed to protect the students they have been elected to stand up for in the community they were elected?

You can’t say on one hand that more funding is needed and on the other hand say keep it affordable for citizens.

Proper funding is a choice.

Finally, Mr. Murray states that all the reductions in the budget were researched and recommended by staff and adjusted based on stakeholder input.

The teachers raised the issue of using a student information system created in B.C. for B.C. educators called Open Student, at a significant savings to the district.

There is no evidence that the trustees seriously considered Open Student, even though it had the potential to save hundreds of thousands of dollars and instead opted for the recommendation of staff.

Todd Patrick,

vice-president

MRTA