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Letter to the editor: Trustees should serve students instead of themselves

“As a former School District 8 trustee, I was shocked when the current board awarded themselves a mind-blowing increase in remuneration. What’s next, benefits and a pension plan?”

By Bob Ferguson, Creston

As a former School District 8 trustee, I was shocked when the current board awarded themselves a mind-blowing increase in remuneration. What’s next, benefits and a pension plan?

I commend those trustees who voted against this increase. Hopefully, one of the six trustees who voted in favour of the increase will put forward a “motion to reconsider.” It is not too late to do the right thing.

To further disappoint me, I have learned that one of the Creston area trustees has moved north and no longer resides in Creston, yet, has the audacity to vote for this increase. In these uncertain times, with so many suffering economic woes, a salary increase (or this very generous raise) seems a self-serving and appalling decision.

During this pandemic, the teachers — supported by their administrators — have been working from home providing online instruction to their students, and are now preparing for an unusual year. Not an easy task!

All the while, CUPE employees have been keeping the schools clean and safe for those that attended school in June, and preparing for the September opening. All of these people should be commended for doing their best under difficult circumstances.

On the other hand, senior administrative staff, led by the district superintendent and most trustees — with the exception of Al Gribbin — have been pretty much invisible. A reduction in pay would be more appropriate than a raise.

It amazes me that the senior administrative staff would support this “motion to increase” in these trying times. Wisdom and common sense should have prevailed. Trustees should have been advised of possible repercussions from the tax-paying public. In my opinion, the board’s decision regarding this matter shows a total lack of leadership.

In conclusion, trustees should follow their “mission statement” to serve students instead of themselves.

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