The raise doled out to the Abbotsford School District’s executive staff in 2017/18 nearly doubled the average increase in pay for employees making over $75,000 that same year, according to an analysis by The News.
Including remuneration and expenses, just over $69.6 million was shared between 759 people in the Abbotsford School District’s 2017/18 “sunshine list,” an annual list of employees making more than $75,000 submitted to the Ministry of Education.
On average, that means the highest-paid employees of the school district made $91,673 on average, including all expenses.
That compares with $64 million split between 722 individuals earning over $75,000 in the 2016/17 fiscal year – just shy of $89,000 on average.
That means, in 2017/18, the highest-paid employees of the Abbotsford School District made an average of 3.35 per cent more than in 2016/17, around half of the 6.26 per cent raise in total remuneration doled out to executive staff the same year.
The total remuneration accounted for in the sunshine list is just about even with the total paid to employees who made $75,000 or less – $69.5 million was split between an unstated number of employees. However, because the total adds up to about the same, it can be inferred that there are more employees making less than $75,000 than there are employees making more than that.
The increase in pay to employees not on the sunshine list amounts to about $3.5 million, or 4.91 per cent. But it’s not clear at this point how much of that nearly five per cent raise, which is still shy of the executive raise, is from actual pay raises and how much is from a change in the number of employees.
The current teachers’ union agreement in Abbotsford includes annually decreasing raises, from two per cent per cent effective September 2014 to 0.5 per cent effective July 2018.
But teachers in their first 10 years also gain raises according to a pay grid, gaining an average of $2,400 to $3,300 per year, depending on the teaching position. That means a teacher in his or her first year in 2016/17 can see an actual pay increase of around six per cent in his or her second year in 2017/18.
The B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) is expected to head to collective bargaining with the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association later this month to replace a contract that expires on June 30.
But some have speculated that the B.C. government is unlikely to agree to pay increases higher than two per cent per year for three years.
That’s because the government, in recent negotiations with other public sector unions like the BCGEU and the B.C. Nurses’ Union (BCNU), has agreed to so-called “me-too” clauses on top of their two per cent yearly raises.
That means if the BCTF negotiates a three per cent yearly raise, the BCGEU and BCNU claim the same raises for themselves.