Trustee Shirley Wilson, formerly Abbotsford school board chair, claimed the highest travel expenses on school board over a one-year period. Combined with trustee Phil Anderson, the two totalled half of the $10,299 claimed by the school board. Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News file photo

Trustee Shirley Wilson, formerly Abbotsford school board chair, claimed the highest travel expenses on school board over a one-year period. Combined with trustee Phil Anderson, the two totalled half of the $10,299 claimed by the school board. Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News file photo

Abby Schools

Abbotsford school trustees spend $10,300 on travel

Two trustees, Phil Anderson and former chair Shirley Wilson, claimed half the board’s total

The Abbotsford School District’s board of education claimed a total of just over $10,000 on travel expenses with the school board in the year ahead of last fall’s election.

Between October 2017 and October 2018, the school board tallied a $10,299 tab for travel expenses, with a fairly wide variation among trustees.

The expenses appear relatively on par with previous years – the total expenses for 2016-17 amounted to justshy of $21,000.

Shirley Wilson, chair of the board at the time, claimed the highest travel expense, at over $2,800 in travel, followed shortly by trustee Phil Anderson, who claimed just over $2,300 in expenses.

After Anderson, none of the trustees exceeded $1,700, and the individual ammounts go as low as $480, claimed by now-retired trustee Cindy Schafer.

The claims come from a variety of events, including the B.C. School Trustees Association annual general meeting in Vancouver, the BCSTA trustee academy in Vancouver, a leadership conference in Whistler and a B.C. Public School Employers’ Association board planning event.

All trustees but Wilson and Anderson attended just two or three events, while Anderson and Wilson each claimed expenses for seven events.

On average, the expenses amount to just around $1,500 in travel expenses per trustee, just over six per cent of the annual indemnity approved for trustees in the fall.

Ahead of the election, trustees approved an indemnity of 40 per cent of the average employment income – over $24,000 per trustee. The vice-chair and chair get a little bump, at just under $27,000 and just over $30,000 respectively.

Find more of our coverage on the Abbotsford School District here.

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Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

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