Letter: Burnaby schools salaries list is unfair to teachers

Editor:

Re: Burnaby’s school superintendent is the third-highest paid in B.C., NOW News

The Burnaby Teacher's Association was disappointed to see the article published Jan. 21 that included reporting on teachers' annual salaries, drawn from the public registry, without proper context.

Readers are led to believe that the reported figures reflect the annual salary of said teachers, however there are many reasons why a teacher may be paid above the annual cap of a grid salary amount within a given year. 

As previously submitted, the BTA wishes to note that reasons for higher reported amounts could be related to a number of issues. A teacher may have a WorkSafe BC matter where a payment may have been made to the teacher for a work-related injury/illness after a settlement of a claim, or because a teacher who planned to be on deferred salary leave has cancelled their plans and then monies being held by the district are returned in a lump sum.

Or in some cases, a teacher works in both a day school program and then again in an evening.  

As suggested by Russell Horswill and stated previously by this union, “the $75,000 threshold for public reporting of financials should be revisited. In the late ‘80s, this threshold captured the highest-paid executives, perhaps just a few folks in district administration. This value now reflects the remuneration of hundreds of employees of the school district. Its publication has far less value than its original intention particularly considering how easily, as we have seen, this information can be taken out of context.”

Leanne Sjodin, president, Burnaby Teachers' Association

Editor’s note: The NOW did contact Leanne Sjodin for comment on these figures, but the call was not returned. Our story has now been updated.

 

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