CUPE wage increases for school support staff could see the North Vancouver school district shelling out more than $1 million in the next two years.
According to a report presented to the Board of Education, the tentative deal recently negotiated by the union and the province is expected to cost the North Vancouver school district approximately $600,000 for the 2013/14 fiscal year.
"We had anticipated that the cost of the two per cent settlement would be around $600,000, so we have to look for two per cent in the 2013/14 fiscal (year), plus an additional two percent for future years," Georgia Allison, secretary treasurer for the North Vancouver school district, told trustees Monday night. "So we're looking for at least $1.2 million."
In West Vancouver, school district officials have estimated the wage increase will mean finding $200,000 in this year's budget and about $350,000 next year.
The province has told school districts they must find ways to pay for the wage increase, and submit savings plans to the ministry by next month.
The North Vancouver School District plans to pay for at least part of the increase with money saved when it privatized management of its outdoor school in Squamish this year and laid off eight regular CUPE workers plus 13 casual staff. Officials are predicting that will provide $150,000 this year, plus $500,000 in future years.
The school district also hopes to save $150,000 by delaying hiring for positions when they become vacant. The district also plans to save $30,000 by cutting back on overtime pay.
Trustees voted on the savings plan for this year at Monday's board meeting.
Trustee Barry Forward voiced concern at the cuts the board will have to make, saying they can't help but impact the classroom.
Franci Stratton, chairwoman of the board, said trustees from various school boards are planning to send letters of concern to the ministry.
© Copyright 2013