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Surrey School Trustees Raise Their Own Pay By 4 Percent

SURREY – Surrey school trustees have voted themselves a four per cent raise.

They claim the pay hike they say is justified considering the workload involved in helping run the largest school district in the province or it could be there is no opposition so they can bloody well do as they please.

The increase in the Surrey Board of Education’s annual remuneration brings the seven trustees’ base pay rate to $32,000 apiece per year, up from $30,800 during the past year. The increase – voted on after a motion that was deferred in March was re-introduced and passed unanimously at Thursday’s public board meeting – amounts to about $100 more per month and is effective July 1, reported the Surrey-Delta Leader newspaper.

“If you took the total governance cost divided by the number of students and worked it out on a per-student cost, we’re extremely low – probably the lowest,” said board of education chairperson Shawn Wilson.

“In reality, more students means more schools, more employees, bigger budgets, more activities and more workload for seven trustees.”

Both the Vancouver and Coquitlam school districts, which are smaller than Surrey, have nine trustees. Vancouver pays their trustees less, but has two more, so their total wage payout equals Surrey’s at about $230,000 per year.

The Surrey board also changed the way it compensates the chair and vice-chair.

It used to be the chairperson and vice-chair would get an additional $3,000 and $1,500, respectively, on top of the annual base rate. However, Thursday’s motion says the chair will now receive an additional 15 per cent (amounting to $4,800 this year), while the vice-chair will get an extra seven-and-a-half per cent (amounting to $2,400).

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