School trustees' pay info released

Recent SOFI documents show pay was increased — the hike in pay this year helps to offset a change in tax rules

Tri-City public school trustees received a 10% increase in pay last year, according to the most recent Statement of Financial Information (SOFI).

Trustee pay in School District 43 is automatically adjusted each January based on an average pay of city councillors in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody councillors, though not of village councillors in Anmore and Belcarra, which SD43 also serves.

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Board chair Barb Hobson, a Coquitlam trustee, earned $50,638 in pay and $11,326 in expenses, including travel expenses for a trip to China in the spring.

At the time, Hobson said the visit in late May to education bureaus and agencies Nanjing and Beijing was a business trip paid for by SD43, and not a slimmed-down version of the cultural trip trustees had been taking annually for several years, which was paid for by the government of China through its education arm Hanban. 

Her pay was also higher than the $30,000 in remuneration for the chair of the Vancouver School Board in the 2018/’19 school year, although SD43 has 32,000 students compared to Vancouver’s more than 50,000.

Trustees who were first elected in 2018 have lower pay than longer-serving trustees while those who served as chair or vice-chair received more than the base amount, which was $47,404 in 2018/’19, up from $43,236 the previous year.

However, until this year, a third of trustee remuneration was a tax-free expense allowance; the hike in pay this year helps to offset the change in tax rules discontinuing the tax break.

Meanwhile, trustees have approved a plan to start budget consultations early in the new year, with a series of meetings planned leading up to approval in April. For more information, including financial statements, visit www.sd43.bc.ca

WHO WAS PAID WHAT

SD43 trustee remuneration for the last school year was:

• Jennifer Blatherwick (Coquitlam) — $31,210

• Carol Cahoon (Coquitlam) — $47,404

• Barb Hobson (Coquitlam) — $50,638

• Craig Woods (Coquitlam) — $31,210

• Christine Pollock (PoCo) — $32,828

• Michael Thomas (PoCo) — 48,156

• Lisa Park (PoMo) — $47,404

• Keith Watkins (PoMo) — $47,404

• Kerri Palmer Isaak (the villages) — $48,908

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