Friday December 16, 2022 | LANGFORD, BC [Dec 30 update: the payout to STA has been completed, says SD62]
SOOKE SCHOOL DISTRICT NEWS | by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
Teachers in the Sooke school district (SD62) are hoping to receive back-pay before year-end.
The pay will be retroactive to July 1, 2022.
At the December 13, 2022 SD62 board meeting, Sooke Teachers Association (STA) President Jennifer Anderson said that teachers are among the many people who are struggling in these financially challenging times.
That evening, in reply to an Island Social Trends tweet about the STA request, the STA posted: “Teachers are hopeful that funds will be distributed before the end of 2022, as the ratification results were known on November 30.”
On Twitter the next day, STA Secretary Diane Wiens asked: “Not receiving this earned income before end of year also has impacts on income tax for teachers. I wonder if the district isn’t able to provide this income before year end, if it will still be recorded on 2022’s T4. Any tax accountants know the answer?”
As of noon today, Anderson says STA has not yet heard back from SD62 as to the payment timeline.
No comment was made from the board table at the December 13 meeting. SD62 Secretary-Treasurer Harold Cull was at the meeting.
There could very well be some administrative reasons for the delay, such as the absence of payment-processing staff or software issues.
Meanwhile, Island Social Trends reached out to the SD62 administration for comment today, and received this further information later this afternoon from Secretary-Treasurer Cull:
- The retro pay will be provided to staff on their second cheque in December, approximately Dec 30.
- The retro is back to July 1 based on the recently signed collective agreement (3.24% plus some other salary grid changes).
- All teachers on page from July 1 onwards; based on the grids increasing as negotiated (the grids are a function of experience/seniority).
- There are no internal issues holding up the process. It is a significant amount of work for both HR and Payroll to process the changes on top of their regular workload. The agreement created a number of complexities that required HR to update the entire grid in the system based on the new rates and then Payroll needs to look at each employee’s hours to determine the retro amount – and this is for over 800 teachers.
- Income tax is based on the cash basis of accounting, therefore the employee will be taxed in the calendar year in which the salary is received. It’s an Income Tax Act rule, and not something we can adjust.
Cull adds: “Once the agreement was ratified, we have been proactive with our communication with the STA on our plan to make adjustments to our teachers’ base pay, and retro by the end of December. Both HR and Payroll have been working extremely hard to get this done while continuing to pay CUPE and other staff.”
Recognizing cost of living impacts:
The SD62 board has already recognized the cost of living impacts on school district staff (including teachers).
At their November board meeting the SD62 board passed a motion to approve a $25,000 fund to support staff in this holiday season.
Earlier this week, SD62 Superintendent Scott Stinson confirmed to Island Social Trends that the financial support will be issued in the form of retail grocery store gift cards and that details were being worked out (as how to best execute that).
Confidentiality (or at least discretion) in the provision of the gift card support is part of the complexity; Associate Superintendent Dave Strange has been working out the details of the program, based on a similar cost of living support program for students and families with $1.25 million in BC government funds received earlier this year).
SD62 Kindergarten registration for Fall 2023 starts in January (December 29, 2022)
Holiday season message from SD62 Superintendent (December 16, 2022)
SD62 sends Ukraine project idea to committee (December 14, 2022)
New sidewalks coming near schools in Colwood (December 13, 2022)
SD62 staff can dip into $25K cost of living fund (November 29, 2022)
SD62 ARCHIVE (by Island Social Trends)
===== ABOUT THE WRITER:
Island Social Trends Editor Mary P Brooke has been the editor of a series of publications on the west shore since 2008: MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), West Shore Voice News (2014-2020) and Island Social Trends (online since mid-2020).
Ms Brooke has attended nearly all SD62 board and committee meetings since 2014. | SD62 NEWS ARCHIVE
Mary Brooke was a SD62 school trustee candidate in the October 2022 election (Belmont Zone — Langford, Colwood, Metchosin, Highlands). She is the mother of four now-grown children who attended schools in SD61, SD62, and SD72.